09/30/2005 11:00PM

Four stakes fail to offer clues for BC


PARIS - Breeders' Cup clues were nonexistent at Longchamp on Saturday as Court Masterpiece, Special Kaldoun, Oiseau Rare, and Touch of Land won the big races on a day that serves as a platesetter for Sunday's more serious affairs, chief of which is the 84th running of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Of Saturday's winners, the one most likely to be seen at Belmont Park on Breeders' Cup weekend is Special Kaldoun, the winner of the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein. Special Kaldoun, however, would not be going for the BC Mile.

Special Kaldoun, 6, came late to defeat Polar Bear in the Wildenstein by a half-length as the 8-5 favorite, covering the mile in 1:40.80 on ground softened by overnight rain to 3.5, or officially "soft" on the penetrometer.

Trainer David Smaga said that Special Kaldoun might be in New York for the Knickerbocker Handicap, a Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile race at Belmont on Oct. 28, the day before the Breeders' Cup. Special Kaldoun has never been better, and the Knickerbocker would be a step down in class from the Wildenstein.

Meanwhile, Court Masterpiece scored a 15-1 upset in the lone Group 1 race of the day, the Prix de la Foret, getting up near the finish line under Gerald Mosse to defeat Caradak by a head in the seven-furlong race.

"I can't thank the jockey enough," said winning trainer Ed Dunlop. "He said that with a three-furlong stretch you can always catch them, and that's exactly what he did."

Defending Foret champ Somnus never got involved and finished sixth.

Dunlop said that Court Masterpiece would be aimed at the Hong Kong Mile on Dec. 11.

Touch of Land defended his Group 2 Prix Dollar title with style. Sent off at a generous 7-1 in the 1 1/8-mile, 155-yard event, the French-bred Touch of Land won by a short neck over Ruwi. Fifth behind Powerscourt in the Arlington Million, the Gary Tanaka-owned Touch of Land is likely to be sent to Sha Tin for the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Cup on Dec. 11, after which a UAE campaign for the Dubai Racing Carnival this winter is the likely plan.

Oiseau Rare, winner of a pair of Group 3 races in her last two starts, handled the step up in class to the Group 2 Prix de Royallieu, as she defeated Kastoria by three-quarters of a length at odds of 2-1. Trained by Andre Fabre and ridden by Christophe Soumillon, Oiseau Rare covered the 1 9/16 miles in 2:40.30.