10/17/2007 12:00AM

European interest expands to make a foursome

EmailIt turns out the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf is an attractive race to European horsemen after all.

Last week, it appeared there would be only two European contenders - Simply Perfect and Timarwa - but when pre-entries for the Filly and Mare Turf were announced on Wednesday there were four European fillies and mares among the 13 candidates.

Fourteen can start, so there will be no exclusions. Two among the pre-entries, Panty Raid and Precious Kitten, have first preference in other Breeders' Cup races.

Aside from Simply Perfect, the winner of the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes in England in July, and Timarwa, a Group 3 winner in Ireland, the invaders are Passage of Time, who was third in the Group 3 Prix Vermeille in France last month, and All My Loving, who was third in the English and Irish Oaks over the summer.

Last week, trainer Henry Cecil said that Passage of Time would start in Saturday's Champion Stakes against males in England. On Wednesday, he was quoted in England's Racing Post saying that Passage of Time would travel to Monmouth Park after her third in the Prix Vermeille.

All My Loving is trained by Aidan O'Brien, who indicated earlier this month that he would not have a runner in the Filly and Mare Turf. All My Loving was ninth in the Group 2 Prix de Royallieu in France on Oct. 6, but has placed in six stakes this year.

They will all be trying to beat the undefeated Nashoba's Key, who is trained in California by Carla Gaines. Nashoba's Key stretched her undefeated record to seven with a victory in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf on Sept. 29. The Filly and Mare Turf is run over 1 3/8 miles, and will be the longest race in Nashoba's Key's career.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has three pre-entries - Honey Ryder and Wait a While, who were third and fourth in the 2006 Filly and Mare Turf, and Panty Raid, whose first preference is for the Distaff.

The three fillies and mares that earned automatic berths by winning major stakes were not pre-entered. My Typhoon, the winner of the Diana Handicap at Saratoga, has been pre-entered for the BC Mile and the Distaff. Neither Royal Highness, the winner of the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park in August, nor Vacare, the winner of the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland, was pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup.