10/07/2009 12:00AM

East's best won't meet out West


The East Coast's top-rated sprinter will not compete in this year's Breeders' Cup, and chances are neither might the horse who has handed him two of his three losses this year.

Trainer Todd Beattie has officially ruled out the Breeders' Cup Sprint as an option for Fabulous Strike, who dropped a half-length decision to Kodiak Kowboy in last Saturday's Grade 1 Vosburgh. The connections of Kodiak Kowboy have left the door open, albeit slightly, that they could run in the Sprint, although their main goal remains Aqueduct's Cigar Mile on Nov. 28.

Both camps cited the fact the Breeders' Cup will be run over the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita for a second consecutive year as a basis for their decisions.

"He got beat six lengths over the Pro-Ride in the Sprint last year," said Beattie, referring to Fabulous Strike's fifth-place finish in the 2008 Sprint. "He gave an honest effort, but he's just not quite as good on synthetics as he is on dirt. Anywhere but Santa Anita and we'd have been there."

Fabulous Strike, who also suffered a narrow setback at the hands of Kodiak Kowboy in the seven-furlong, Grade 1 Carter earlier this year, will be pointed for the De Francis or Fall Highweight, according to Beattie.

Tom Ludt, general manager of Vinery, which owns Kodiak Kowboy in partnership with Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm, said winning the Cigar Mile would put an exclamation point on an outstanding season for their 4-year-old son of Posse.

"A win in the Cigar Mile would give him Grade 1 wins at six furlongs, seven furlongs, and a mile," said Ludt.

A decision as to where Fabulous Strike might run before the Cigar Mile will not be made for several days. Ludt said the De Francis Dash at Laurel on Oct. 24 would be an option. If the horse needed more time, the Breeders' Cup Sprint would become a possibility.

Kodiak Kowboy, whose victory in the Vosburgh came in his first start with trainer Steve Asmussen, has started three times over synthetic surfaces, and not since finishing a distant fourth in the Lafayette Stakes during the spring of his 3-year-old campaign.

"I'm hesitant to go out West," said Ludt.

The potential lineup for the Sprint will come into sharper focus after this weekend following the running of Friday's Grade 3 Phoenix at Keeneland and Sunday's Grade 1 Ancient Title at Santa Anita.

- additional reporting by David Grening