10/08/2008 12:00AM

Frankel pointing Precious Kitten toward Mile


Precious Kitten, the multiple Grade 1 winner who was second in the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 3 in her most recent start, will face males for the first time in her career in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, trainer Bobby Frankel said Wednesday.

Frankel said he wants to keep Precious Kitten racing a mile on turf and will pass on a start in the $2 million BC Filly and Mare Turf going 1o1/4 miles at Santa Anita on Oct. 24.

"I'll probably run in the Mile against the boys," Frankel said. "The filly's numbers are just as good as the boys."

Owned by Lael Stables, Precious Kitten has won 8 of 23 starts and $1,703,913. In the $400,000 First Lady Stakes, Precious Kitten led by a length on the backstretch and by as much as 2 1/2 lengths in the stretch before finishing 1 1/2 lengths behind Forever Together.

Frankel said Precious Kitten is not at her best when setting the pace.

"I don't want to be on the lead anymore," he said. "Her best run is from off the pace."

* The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Sept. 27 at Royal Ascot appeared, at the time of its running, to be a key prep race for the Breeders' Cup Mile. Now? Maybe not so much.

Connections of the one-two finishers in the QE II, Raven's Pass and Henrythenavigator, continue to state a preference for the Breeders' Cup Classic over the Mile, and this week, Tamayuz, a disappointing fourth as the second choice in the QE II, was ruled out of the BC Mile by trainer Freddie Head.

Head, however, has an able backup for the Mile in Goldikova, who reportedly is more likely to go in the Mile than in the Filly and Mare Turf, though she may be cross-entered in both races. If Raven's Pass and Henrythenavigator do wind up in the Classic, Goldikova might well be favored to win the BC Mile. Goldikova, third to the wonder-filly Zarkava in her lone start beyond a mile, will come into the Breeders' Cup after consecutive Group 1 mile victories in France.

Thorn Song probably ran his way into the BC Mile with a front-running victory Saturday at Keeneland in the Shadwell Turf Mile, a BC Win and You're In race. It was the first Grade 1 victory for Thorn Song, who has steadily improved through 2008.

Meanwhile, romping Kelso Handicap winner Tam Lin has been all but ruled out of the BC Mile, according to Rick Mettee, who oversees trainer Saeed bin Suroor's string in New York.

Also in New York, Kip Deville, the defending champion in the Mile, had a strong six-furlong workout Tuesday, working six furlongs around the dogs on the Aqueduct turf course in 1:12.80.

additional reporting by Marcus Hersh