Updated on 09/16/2011 9:24AM

Goodwood trio prepping for BC Classic


ARCADIA, Calif. - There are many different ways to earn a trip to the Breeders' Cup - on the lead, pressing the pace, or rallying from the back.

Front-runner Kela, presser Momentum, and closer Pleasantly Perfect are among nine starters in the Grade 2, $500,000 Goodwood Handicap Sunday at Santa Anita. All three are aiming for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington Park Oct. 26.

"The one we want is the next one," said Momentum's trainer, Craig Dollase. Momentum will be favored in the 1 1/8-mile Goodwood, highlight of a stakes triple-header.

While Momentum's runner-up finishes in the Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic established his credentials, Kela and Pleasantly Perfect are unproven. Kela finished second in a Grade 2 mile race at Del Mar; Pleasantly Perfect finished fourth in the Pacific Classic. For both, the Goodwood is crucial.

"If we win, we'll go to the Breeders' Cup Classic," said Kela's trainer, Eduardo Inda.

Kela will try to win Sunday on the lead - a three-furlong 33.40-second blowout Friday insured that. "It was a little bit too fast, but we wanted to put some speed in him," Inda said.

Kela's ability to stay the 1 1/4 miles of the Classic is debatable, but 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita should be within range. Kela may have to win the Goodwood to get into the BC Classic. His only graded stakes points were his Grade 2 second-place finish.

Pleasantly Perfect has a similar problem. A deep-closing 4-year-old by Pleasant Colony, Pleasantly Perfect has no points, and is not an automatic Classic inclusion. And the distance of the Goodwood is too short for him.

"I wish this was a mile and a quarter, that would really help him," trainer Richard Mandella said. "But if he runs third, finishing good, we'll go [to Arlington]."

Pleasantly Perfect is 3 for 8, and has improved with each start.

Meanwhile, Momentum is the horse to beat. Compromised by traffic in the Pacific Classic, he enters the Goodwood as the class of the field.

Dollase expects a top effort.

"If he shows up and runs like we think he can, we'll go to Chicago on a high note," he said.

o In Sunday's other two stakes, Composure leaps from maiden sprint to Grade 2 route in the Oak Leaf for 2-year-old fillies, and Sarafan goes 1 1/4 miles on turf in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship.

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