10/12/2001 11:00PM

Mile news: Balto Star headed to Mile


ELMONT, N.Y. - Balto Star, who has won on both dirt and turf this year, will be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Mile on grass, trainer Todd Pletcher said Friday. The 3-year-old gelding will also be pre-entered for the $2 million Turf, but the Mile will be made first preference.

Balto Star has raced only once on turf, winning a money allowance race at a mile last month at Saratoga.

"The Mile seems like a wide-open race; hard to identify a standout," Pletcher said. "His race at Saratoga was very good, his breeze on Sunday was very good, the horse is doing good. I feel like it's worth taking a shot."

In the spring, Balto Star developed into a Triple Crown contender with monster victories in the Spiral Stakes and the Arkansas Derby. He was beaten a combined 77 1/2 lengths in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes before getting the summer off.

Following his turf victory, Balto Star finished second, beaten one-half length by Guided Tour in the Kentucky Cup Classic on dirt.

Pletcher said Balto Star would also be pre-entered in the $2 million Turf "because the pace scenario could be favorable in the mile-and-a-half. Of course, it is a question whether he wants to stay a mile and a half regardless of pace scenario."

Pletcher said Pat Day would ride Balto Star in the Mile.