10/03/2003 11:00PM

Eurosilver powerful in Breeders' Futurity

Eurosilver and Javier Castellano draw clear en route to a 4 3/4-length win in the Grade 2 Breeders' Futurity.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Even though he stayed put in New York, Nick Zito cut a massive presence at the first two days of the Keeneland meet.

Less than 24 hours after Zito won the Phoenix Breeders' Cup with Najran for Buckram Oak Farm, he capped a spectacular opening weekend when Eurosilver, also carrying the Buckram Oak colors, drove to a smashing 4 3/4-length victory Saturday in the $400,000 .

About 20 minutes after Eurosilver crossed the line at Keeneland, Zito won the Champagne Stakes at Belmont with Birdstone for owner Marylou Whitney.

After settling into midpack through the early stages of the 1 1/16-mile race, Eurosilver launched a huge outside run to easily collar Value Plus at the top of the stretch. From there, it was all gravy, as Eurosilver pulled away to win in 1:43.42 over a fast track.

Tiger Hunt, a 12-1 shot coming off a win in the Cradle Stakes, was up in the final stride to finish second by a nose over Limehouse (13-1). Value Plus, the 2-1 favorite under Pat Valenzuela, finished another length back in fourth. Mass Media, the Louisiana Downs phenom who was the 2-1 second choice, faded badly to finish 10th in the field of 11.

Despite their performances, neither Eurosilver or Tiger Hunt is expected to go on the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Eurosilver, a homebred by Unbridled's Song, returned $25.80 to win as fifth choice. The colt was making just his third start, having most recently won a maiden race on closing day at Saratoga.

"He was super today," said Mohammed Moubarak, racing manager for Buckram Oak. "Hopefully things are coming good for us."

Before an ontrack crowd of 18,699, and amid cool but very pleasant autumn weather, Value Plus raced Cooperation into defeat when momentarily pulling clear in the final turn of the 90th Breeders' Futurity. But it wasn't long before Eurosilver swept past.

"I really love this horse, because he's never had dirt in his face and he didn't even mind it," said Javier Castellano, Eurosilver's jockey. "He just ran right into it. There's not too many 2-year-olds that do that."

The $2 exacta paid $290.20, and the $2 trifecta paid $4,628.40.