09/30/2008 11:00PM

Mitchell brings fresh pair into Marathon


Trainer Mike Mitchell has three horses pointing for the Breeders' Cup, and two of them are targeting the inaugural $500,000 Marathon on Oct. 25. He said Big Booster and Church Service are both candidates for the 1 1/2-mile race. Mitchell's other BC hopeful, Delta Storm, is being pointed for the Turf Sprint.

Mitchell said Rafael Bejarano has the mount on Big Booster, while he has been in the process of lining up Frankie Dettori to ride Church Service. The Marathon will be Church Service's first start since Aug. 23, when he finished fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap. Big Booster last raced on July 30, and was third in the $150,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar.

"Both horses run good fresh," said Mitchell.

Church Service won the Grade 3 Dallas Turf Cup on May 26 following a two-month layoff. In his previous start, he was beaten a nose in the Grade 3 Tokyo City at 1 1/2 miles at Santa Anita on March 29.

Big Booster has also run well with time between starts. He accounted for the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano on April 20, then in his next start June 1 won the $102,000 Gallant Man at 1 5/8 miles at Hollywood Park.

w Belmont Stakes winner Da' Tara will be in action Friday night in the Grade 2, $350,000 Meadowlands Cup. He has not yet been committed to the Marathon.

"Right now, the Meadowlands Cup is first," said trainer Nick Zito.

On the same card, Ready's Echo runs 1 3/8 miles on turf in the $60,000 Princeton.

w Trainer Pete Anderson said Delightful Kiss, who won the Grade 3 All American at Golden Gate on Saturday, will ship from the Northern California track to Santa Anita four or five days before the Marathon.

w Trainer Darrin Miller said Grade 1 winner Dominican is under serious consideration for the Marathon, while another option for him is the Grade 3, $150,000 Sycamore at Keeneland on Oct. 18.

w Trainer John Sadler said Garrett Gomez has the mount on Zappa in the Marathon.