10/11/2009 11:00PM

Magical Fantasy soon up for sale

Benoit & Associates
Magical Fantasy will be sold at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky on Nov. 10.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Magical Fantasy's scheduled start in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 6 will likely be her last for the three-man partnership that owns her and trainer Paddy Gallagher.

The winner of four consecutive graded stakes and a contender for the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding turf female, Magical Fantasy is scheduled to be sold at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall mixed sale in Lexington, Ky., on Nov. 10.

Sunday, co-owner Chuck Winner said that Magical Fantasy's victory in Saturday's Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes has not altered those plans.

"The current plan is to go in the Breeders' Cup and then ship her back" to Kentucky, he said. "She will be a fabulous broodmare."

Winner said that he and his partners, David Bienstock and Paul Mandabach, are more interested in racing than breeding, a major factor in the decision to offer Magical Fantasy in the sale.

"It's the best thing to do to give her to someone in the [breeding] business," he said.

At the same time, Winner said he is leery of a weak bloodstock market, and that Magical Fantasy will sell with a reserve.

"It's something we're concerned about," he said. "If she doesn't bring a price that's reasonable, we would buy her back."

Magical Fantasy would sell as a racing or broodmare prospect, Winner said. A 4-year-old filly, she has won 6 of 17 starts and $1,039,231. She has won her last four starts, including the Grade 2 Santa Barbara, Grade 1 Gamely Stakes, and Grade 1 John Mabee Stakes.

Her win in the Yellow Ribbon Stakes placed her among the leading domestic hopes for the BC Filly and Mare Turf.

Abrams mulls Lethal Heat's options

Lethal Heat is bound for the Breeders' Cup after her second to Zenyatta in the Lady's Secret Stakes on Saturday, but trainer Barry Abrams is unsure which race to target. The Ladies' Classic on Nov. 6 and the Turf Sprint on Nov. 7 are the possibilities.

He even mentioned running Lethal Heat on back-to-back days. Don't put it past him.

"I'll probably run in both," he said on Sunday.

Abrams is not afraid to run his horses frequently, although Breeders' Cup races on consecutive days would be taking that method to the extreme.

Lethal Heat, who was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Zenyatta in the Lady's Secret, has made six starts since late July, including a second against males in the California Cup Classic seven days before the Lady's Secret.

Abrams said his decision on where to run Lethal Heat depends on where Zenyatta starts. Zenyatta is being considered for the Ladies' Classic and the $5 million Classic against males on Nov. 7.

"If Zenyatta runs in the Classic, I'd like to run in the Ladies' Classic," Abrams said. "We'll see who runs in which race. The hard part is I've got to wait another 30 days."

Lethal Heat has won 6 of 16 starts and $655,988.

Midshipman on track for Dirt Mile

Midshipman, the champion 2-year-old male of 2008, is still on course for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile on Nov. 7, trainer Saeed bin Suroor said on Sunday.

Midshipman has started just once since his victory in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a win in an optional claimer at Belmont Park on Sept. 18. As of Monday, Midshipman had not had a recorded workout since the Belmont race, but Suroor insists the colt is doing well.

"He's better than at any time," he said. "Physically, he's improved a lot."

Midshipman recently arrived Godolphin Racing's division at Santa Anita Park.

The Dirt Mile is also in the plans for Crown of Thorns, who finished second to the Godolphin-owned Gayego in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes on Sunday.

Crown of Thorns was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Gayego after closing from sixth in a field of 10. Gayego rallied from ninth.

A winner of 2 of 5 starts and $217,080, Crown of Thorns won the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita in February 2008, but missed 18 months of racing because of injuries.

The Ancient Title was his second start following that layoff. Trainer Richard Mandella said that Crown of Thorns will also be pre-entered for the BC Sprint on Nov. 7.

"I'm leaning more toward the Dirt Mile, but I'd consider the Sprint," Mandella said. "I think the Mile will be a little easier."

The Sprint is led by Zensational, the 3-year-old sprint star trained by Bob Baffert, and Gayego.

Black Astor awaits Marathon

Black Astor, scratched from Sunday's Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship, will make his next start in the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon over 1 3/4 miles on the main track on Nov. 6, trainer Lisa Lewis said.

The winner of the Grade 2 Sunset Handicap over 1 1/2 miles on turf at Hollywood Park on July 19 after a six-month layoff, Black Astor has not started since finishing last of 10 in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap on Aug. 30.

Lewis said she is more comfortable training Black Astor to the BC Marathon than she would have been running in the Hirsch and BC Marathon. Monday, Black Astor worked five furlongs in 1:00 at Santa Anita.

"As long as he handles the synthetic, which I think he will, he'll go into the race really well," Lewis said. "He's back to where I'm happy with that he's doing."