10/04/2006 11:00PM

Dutrow softening on Breeders' Cup plans


ELMONT, N.Y. - Since the summer, trainer Richard Dutrow has basically stated that he has made no plans to have Silver Train defend his Breeders' Cup Sprint title this year. Dutrow's reasoning has been that Silver Train is "a special horse" at Belmont Park - where the Breeders' Cup was held last year - but nowhere else.

This week, Dutrow has softened his stance somewhat in regard to the Breeders' Cup, which will be held at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4. Should Silver Train win Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh at Belmont, where he will meet the speedy Henny Hughes, Dutrow said he would sit down with owner Kassem Masri of Four Roses Thoroughbreds to discuss their options.

"If he wins this race and runs big and the owner wants to try it, hey, the guy's a sweetheart, I'll do anything in the world for him," Dutrow said. "If he really wants to take a chance, we'll talk about it and see what he comes up with. I can't say no to anybody when they want to run a horse in a Breeders' Cup race; I don't want to take anybody's fun away from them."

A victory in the Vosburgh would put Silver Train in the running for Sprint champion, a title he didn't win last year despite his victory in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Silver Train has won the Metropolitan Handicap and the Tom Fool - both at Belmont - this year.

Silver Train is 5 for 7 at Belmont Park, 1 for 8 elsewhere. His only other win came in a maiden race at Saratoga in the summer of 2004. Silver Train has never raced at Churchill Downs.

"I just know that the horse really likes this track," Dutrow said of Belmont. "He's a special horse here and he's not that anywhere else. Anybody can see that clearly; they don't need me to point that out to them."

If Dutrow and Masri elect to skip the Breeders' Cup, then Silver Train may be pointed to the Grade 1 Cigar Mile on Nov. 25 at Aqueduct, where Silver Train trains on a daily basis. Of course, that won't be an easy spot either if Discreet Cat, the undefeated Godolphin runner, opts to run there.

Meadow Breeze to wheel back

Trainer Carl Deville drove 4 1/2 hours up from Maryland on Thursday morning and arrived just in time to see his Grade 1-winning 2-year-old filly Meadow Breeze gallop 1o1/4 miles over Belmont Park's training track.

Pleased with how she went, Deville will continue with his plan to wheel Meadow Breeze back in the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette here on Oct. 14. The Frizette comes just three weeks after Meadow Breeze's hard-fought win in the Matron, and three weeks before a possible start in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.

"She came out of the race good," Deville said Thursday outside his barn. "She's in her [feed] bucket. I like the way she's doing. We'll work her on Saturday and try to shoot for the race."

Deville was in Timonium on Wednesday for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale, where he purchased 10 yearlings. One he didn't purchase, a half-sister to Meadow Breeze by Kafwain, topped the sale at $220,000.

"We could've bought her for $35,000 in July," Deville said. "We would have looked really smart."

The Frizette, run at one mile, drew 28 nominations. Among those expected to run are Awesome Ashley, Five Star Daydream, Imperial Reign, Our Fantene, and True Addiction.

Stadium blanket giveaway

In addition to getting to see five Grade 1 stakes on one card, fans attending Belmont Park on Saturday will get a stadium blanket with each paid admission.

Saturday's final pick four will be an all-stakes affair, comprising the Flower Bowl Invitational, Vosburgh, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, and Jockey Club Gold Cup. There is no guaranteed pool.

The Joe Hirsch kicks off an NTRA National Pick 4 with a guaranteed pool of $400,000. That wager includes the Shadwell Turf Mile from Keeneland, the Gold Cup, and the Goodwood Handicap at Santa Anita.

* Funny Cide, the 2004 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, worked four furlongs in 48.34 seconds Thursday morning. He is being pointed to the $250,000 Empire Classic here Oct. 21.