10/29/2005 12:00AM

Longshots the order of the day


ELMONT, N.Y. - The Breeders' Cup lures casual fans with a blitzkrieg of top-class races. And it lures gamblers because somewhere, sometime during Breeders' Cup Day, those races will produce boxcar payoffs.

Saturday was no exception: In the eight Breeders' Cup races, only two favorites won, Folklore in the Juvenile Fillies and Saint Liam in the Classic.

In between the unpredictable ruled. Stevie Wonderboy, a logical horse, paid $11 in the Juvenile, but Intercontinental struck at $32.20 in the Filly and Mare Turf, Silver Train at $25.80 in the Sprint. The Sprint capped the day's first pick four, which paid $13,162 for a $2 bet. The final pick four included Pleasant Home, the $63.50 winner of the Distaff, and paid $17,303, even with favored Saint Liam rounding out the sequence.

The pick six? That was in another atmosphere entirely. No one picked six, and the 40 $2 tickets with five winners among the sequence of Intercontinental, Silver Train, Artie Schiller, Pleasant Home, Shirocco, and Saint Liam, were worth $90,325.30. The total pool for the pick six, which was guaranteed at $3 million, was $4,586,699.

How difficult was the pick six? A panel of three handicappers who put together a $93,312 Players' Pool ticket for the AmericaTab online wagering service, funded by customers who have accounts with the service, used nine horses in the Filly and Mare Turf, the first leg of the bet - and was out when Intercontinental won.

Betting was strong on the card. The ontrack crowd of 54,289 wagered $14,658,560, a Belmont record.

Leroidesanimaux hurt by foot trouble

Bobby Frankel had it all planned out. He would train Mile favorite Leroidesanimaux in bar shoes this week, to keep the pressure off feet made tender when Leroidesanimaux shed his frogs, and then put on racing plates for Leroidesanimaux's start in the Breeders' Cup Mile. But when Frankel had the bar shoes removed Saturday morning, the plan had to change.

"We took the shoes off and he was still sore," Frankel said. "He couldn't even walk on them, so I had to put the aluminum plates back on. Once those were back on, he was okay."

The aluminum bar shoes take away the tenderness, but they provide much less traction than regular racing plates, especially on a wet turf course. Frankel said a couple hours before the Mile that the shoe situation was "a big concern," and he felt the same way afterward.

"You have to think that made a difference," Frankel said. "He tried. He was game. But he can run better than that."

Leroidesanimaux was favored at 7-5 in the Mile after he had destroyed a decent field in the Atto Mile, his last start. He narrowly held second over Gorella on Saturday, a sign of his class if, as Frankel thinks, his feet got in the way of victory.

Gotaghostofachance beats traffic jam

Gotaghostofachance couldn't quite escape traffic problems in time to catch Captain Squire in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Handicap at Santa Anita, but he managed to extricate himself from a similar situation to post a half-length victory over Captain Squire in the $250,000 Sport Page Handicap, opening race on Saturday's Breeders' Cup card.

Gotaghostofachance finished fourth, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, after having to wait for clearance in the stretch run of the Ancient Title. The same scenario developed as the field began to bunch up near the eighth pole of the seven-furlong Sport Page. At that point, Captain Squire overtook the tiring Voodoo to assume command, with Gotaghostofachance again pinned in between horses looking for room to unleash his final surge. Jockey Jon Court was finally able to get Gotaghostofachance in the clear after angling outside rivals near midstretch, and they ran down Captain Squire in the closing strides.

Wild Tale rallied widest of all to finish third, a length in front of the 2-1 favorite Silver Wagon, who was forced to steady wile awaiting room in early stretch and then again behind the leaders approaching the wire.

Gotaghostofachance, a 4-year-old son of Silver Ghost, is owned by Ross McLeod and Charles Ming and is trained by Roger Stein. He paid $12.20 after covering the distance in 1:23.16 over a fast track.

"We had to make some alterations but we got a clear run," said Court. "I knew he could make up ground when he got clear, and once we got outside of Captain Squire he really rallied."

The victory was the first stakes win in New York for Court.

Magna Graduate runs down Scrappy T

Todd Pletcher did not take long to strike on Breeders' Cup Day at Belmont, winning the $250,000 Discovery Handicap with Magna Graduate in the day's second race.

Pletcher, who entered eight horses in six Breeders' Cup races, took over Magna Graduate's training early this summer, and now has sent him out to win back-to-back graded stakes. He took the Pegasus Handicap on Sept. 30 at The Meadowlands, and was quite impressive winning the Grade 3, $287,250 Discovery by three-quarters of a length over favored Scrappy T.

"He's really getting good right now," Pletcher said. "We're delighted with his last two races."

Magna Graduate once was a headstrong front-runner, but over time he has learned to settle, and he relaxed nicely for jockey John Velazquez on Saturday. On paper, there was an overabundance of early speed in the 1 1/16-mile Discovery, but it was Scrappy T who wound up in the clear and on the lead, racing into the wind while setting fractions of 23.35 seconds for a quarter-mile and 46.83 for a half. Magna Graduate sat in mid-pack, going easily down the backstretch and gradually picking up the leaders around the turn while racing about two paths wide. When the field started to spread at the quarter pole, Velazquez sent Magna Graduate through on the inside, and he tackled Scrappy T with a full head of steam at the top of the stretch, taking over inside the final half-furlong to win going away.

By Honor Grades, and owned by Elisabeth Alexander of Ohio, Magna Graduate paid $13 to win and was timed in 1:41.35.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch