10/18/2006 12:00AM

Librettist prepares for attempt to reclaim prominence


In late summer, Librettist was a leading contender for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4. He had won two consecutive Group 1 races in France and was on top of his game.

But after a sixth-place finish in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Sept. 23, Librettist fell in the rankings. Currently, he is listed behind the American stars Aragorn and Gorella and the European Group 1 winner Araafa in future-book betting with European bookmakers.

The BC Mile will give Librettist a chance to restore his status. Wednesday, Librettist had one of his final workouts before the BC Mile in Newmarket, England, according to Simon Crisford, the racing manager for the Maktoum family's Godolphin racing.

Crisford said the workout was not timed, but that it "was something very easy. He was working up a steep hill. He looked nice. It was a hand ride."

Librettist, 4, has won 7 of 9 starts and $800,178. A four-time stakes winner this year, Librettist is one of two Godolphin hopefuls for the Mile, which may draw the maximum field of 14. Echo of Light, the winner of the Prix Daniel Wildenstein in Paris on Sept. 30, is the other Godolphin starter.

"They are both doing very well," Crisford said.

Their task in the BC Mile will be slightly easier if, as expected, the European star George Washington defects to the Breeders' Cup Classic. George Washington won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in his last start. His trainer, Aidan O'Brien, will instead start the Group 1 winners Aussie Rules and Ad Valorem.

Several American-based horses are being considered for the BC Mile, including Kip Deville, the winner of the Bryan Station Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 15; Showing Up, who won of the Jamaica Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 14; Silent Name, the winner of the Arcadia Handicap at Santa Anita last April; and Courtnall, who was second to Aragorn in the Oak Tree BC Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 7. Showing Up may still be pointed for the $500,000 Hollywood Derby at Hollywood Park on Nov. 26.

Miesque's Approval, who ran fourth behind Aussie Rules in the Shadwell Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 7, remains on course for the BC Mile, trainer Marty Wolfson said. Wolfson said a troubled journey from Florida to Keeneland for the Shadwell Mile took its toll.

"He had a long trip up there," Wolfson said. "The plane broke down twice. What should have taken six hours took 20 hours. He got beat less than two lengths."

Wolfson is banking on a "horse-for-course" angle to help Miesque's Approval. The 7-year-old horse won the Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap over a mile on turf at Churchill Downs on July 1.

"He likes the turf course there," Wolfson said. "His run in the Firecracker was very strong."

Wolfson will need that advantage for Miesque's Approval to be effective in a competitive Breeders' Cup Mile.