10/18/2007 11:00PM

Parisel picks up the reins

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - One probably has nothing to do with the others, but horseplayers looking for hints on how Francois Parisel might fare next weekend at the Breeders' Cup with horses formerly trained by Patrick Biancone can get a sneak preview Sunday at Keeneland.

Arosa, a 4-year-old Sadler's Wells filly who raced four times since coming under the Biancone banner following her importation from her native Ireland, will be one of the wagering choices in the $150,000 Dowager Stakes, the featured eighth of nine races Sunday at Keeneland. Arosa enters off an authoritative victory in an overnight stakes on Labor Day at Arlington Park and seems a natural for the 1 1/2-mile distance of the Dowager, which will be contested around three turns on the turf course.

Seven horses that Biancone had planned to run in the Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park instead will be saddled by Parisel, who had been working of late as his assistant. Parisel has an extensive background in racing, including a four-year stint (1990-94) on his own when training for the Buckram Oak Farm of the late Mahmoud Fustok, and afterward as an assistant for Kentucky-based trainer Niall O'Callaghan.

Parisel essentially is an interim trainer of the former Biancone horses, as per the complex one-year penalty to which Biancone agreed this week in regard to his highly publicized cobra venom case in Kentucky. Starting Nov. 1, a person without familial, financial, or employment ties to Biancone will begin training the horses, but in that brief but critical period that includes the Oct. 26-27 Breeders' Cup, Parisel is the man, and Arosa is his first stakes runner.

There is competition aplenty for Arosa in the Dowager, which drew a field of 10. Among her more accomplished challengers are Nunnery, a Claiborne Farm homebred with three wins from her last six starts; Jade Queen, a Paulson family homebred with the speed to lead this field at every call; and Eres Magica, winner of the Omnibus Stakes two starts back at Monmouth.

The rest of the field is Espial, Omeya, Monte Crystal, Indy Trouble, Amura, and Barbette.

After Sunday, only one other stakes remains at the 17-day Keeneland meet - the $150,000 Fayette, part of a seven-race program scheduled for closing day, Oct. 27, the second day of the Breeders' Cup. Keeneland will start a half-hour earlier than usual, at 12:45 p.m. Eastern, and will coordinate its card so as not to conflict with the BC simulcasts.