10/20/2008 11:00PM

Mast Track and Pyro in Dirt Mile after all


ARCADIA, Calif. - After a 24-hour period in which three horses thought to be out or in other races had their connections reconsider, a full field of 12 was entered Tuesday morning in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, to be run Saturday on the Pro-Ride synthetic surface at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

Lord Admiral, Mast Track, and Pyro all wound up in the Dirt Mile, which is restricted to a dozen horses because of the short run to the first turn on Santa Anita's main track. Fourteen were pre-entered in the race last week, but, as expected, First Defence and Jonesboro were not entered in the race on Tuesday, so no horses were excluded.

The final entry of Lord Admiral, who also was pre-entered last week in the Mile on turf, was not a big surprise. But the inclusion of both Mast Track and Pyro were reversals from where their connections stood on Monday.

After saying on Monday that Mast Track's participation in the Breeders' Cup "wasn't meant to be," Bobby Frankel, his trainer and owner, reversed course on Tuesday and entered Mast Track in the Dirt Mile, despite Mast Track having a quarter crack on the outside of his right front hoof.

"It's not that bad," Frankel said Tuesday morning. "My blacksmith said it needs a patch, but I don't think so."

Mast Track also had been considered for the $5 million Classic on Saturday, but Frankel said, "a mile's a good distance for my horse."

Pyro ended up in the Dirt Mile after being re-routed from the 1 1/4-mile Classic, the race his trainer, Steve Asmussen, on Monday said he would run in. But Monday night, Asmussen discussed options with Ron Winchell, Pyro's owner, and they decided to run instead in the Dirt Mile.

"We're spreading out our opportunities," said Asmussen, who has Curlin and Student Council in the Classic on Saturday.

The addition of Mast Track adds considerable speed to a lineup that also includes My Pal Charlie, Two Step Salsa, and Well Armed.

Of that quartet, My Pal Charlie drew the worst, winding up in post 11, just inside of Lord Admiral.

Surf Cat, who wound up in post 2, blew out a half-mile in 45.80 seconds early Tuesday morning for trainer Bruce Headley.

"It was a nice open gallop," Headley said. "I think he's coming up to his best race."