09/26/2007 12:00AM

George Washington likely passing QE II

EmailGeorge Washington will very likely miss his intended engagement in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, putting his participation in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Oct. 27 in doubt.

The defending QE II titleholder was all but declared out of that Group 1 mile by trainer Aidan O'Brien, who said on Wednesday that his probable runners would be Excellent Art, winner of the St. James's Palace Stakes, and Duke of Marmalade, runner up in the Champion Stakes.

Saying that George Washington, a 4-year-old son of Danehill, would probably not run but failing to provide a reason why, O'Brien added that an announcement about the colt's future would be made during the next few days.

George Washington had been expected to battle Darjina and Ramonti in the Queen Elizabeth II, but British bookies removed him from the betting on Wednesday morning as word spread that he would not be running. The colt had been favored for the QEII despite having finished third behind Darjina and Ramonti in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on Sept. 9. Irish bookmakers Paddy Power now list Darjina as their 9-4 QE II favorite, with Ramonti and Excellent Art both at 3-1.