11/03/2009 12:00AM

Neko Bay rested for Dirt Mile


While all the focus on John Shirreffs's stable will center on Zenyatta in the $5 million Classic, the trainer was quite happy to get Neko Bay into the $1 million Dirt Mile.

Neko Bay was one of six horses to draw into the Mile off the preference list. A 6-year-old son of Giant's Causeway, Neko Bay has just one race this year, a classified allowance win over several stakes winners here on Oct. 9. It was his first start since last December.

Shirreffs said Neko Bay was "a real tired horse" following the December race and was turned out for several months. Shirreffs said it took longer than expected to get the horse fit, so he didn't make it back to the races until October. Neko Bay came out of the race in good order and came back last Sunday with a strong five-furlong work in 59 seconds at Hollywood Park.

"He's a horse that's always done well fresh," Shirreffs said. "I think he'd run very much the same way he ran last time. When he's feeling good, he's a serious horse."