10/17/2006 11:00PM

Extended layoffs seen as positive for three


Too Much Bling, Siren Lure, and Pomeroy may have been out of sight recently, but they certainly won't be out of the minds of bettors when they return from layoffs in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Trainers Bob Baffert (Too Much Bling), Art Sherman (Siren Lure), and Marty Wolfson (Pomeroy) all decided to bypass a final prep for the Breeders' Cup and train their Sprint candidates into the race. Too Much Bling will enter the Sprint off a layoff of 112 days and has not started since he won July 15 in Calder's Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes. Siren Lure will enter off a layoff of 76 days and has not started since he won Aug. 20 in Del Mar's Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap. Pomeroy will enter off a layoff of 63 days and has not started since his impressive triumph Sept. 2 in Saratoga's Grade 1 Forego.

History has proven the Sprint can be won without the need of a final prep. Eight horses have captured the race without a start before the third week of September, the most recent being Cajun Beat, who won the 2003 Sprint following a six-week layoff. Very Subtle (1987), Desert Stormer (1995), and Lit De Justice (1996) all won the Sprint despite coming in without a start after Sept. 1. Precisionist captured the 1985 Sprint after being idle since June 23.

"The Sprint's one race where I'd rather let everybody else butt heads and knock themselves out in the preps, and go in with a fresh horse," said Baffert, whose Too Much Bling figures to be one of two 3-year-olds in the field, along with Henny Hughes. "The trip to Calder this summer really knocked him out, and being a 3-year-old and a light horse, I decided to train him into the race. I know how to get him ready, and right now he looks very sharp. I really tightened the screws down on him last week with a work out of the gate."

Too Much Bling has won 4 of 5 starts this year, all stakes, with his only setback a second behind Songster in Belmont's Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup.

Both Sherman and Wolfson agreed with Baffert that fresh is better when it comes to the Sprint.

"My horse loves having time between races," said Sherman, whose Siren Lure is a Grade 1 winner with just one loss in six starts this year.

Pomeroy has started just twice in 2006 since returning from ankle surgery on July 15.

"My horse runs so hard I wouldn't have wanted to give him another race after the Forego and take a chance he's done too much," said Wolfson.

Two horses who turned in sensational preps on Oct. 7, Bordonaro and Henny Hughes, will likely vie for favoritism in the Sprint.

The connections of Bordonaro announced earlier this week they would more than likely supplement him to the race following his big victory in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup. Henny Hughes registered his third easy victory in as many starts in 2006 when he beat War Front in the Grade 1 Vosburgh.