10/15/2007 11:00PM

Pletcher again has small army

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Joseph DiOrio/Horsephotos
Todd Pletcher said he pre-entered 15 horses in the Breeders Cup.
ELMONT, N.Y. - One year after pre-entering a record 18 horses in the Breeders' Cup World Championships, trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday he pre-entered 15 for this year's Breeder's Cup, which will be held over two days, Oct. 26 and 27, at Monmouth Park.

The deadline to submit pre-entries for the 11 Breeders' Cup races was Monday. The pre-entered fields will be announced on Wednesday. Final entries will be taken and post positions drawn for all 11 races next Tuesday at Monmouth Park, which will be hosting the Breeders' Cup for the first time. Three new Breeders' Cup races - the $1 million Juvenile Turf, $1 million Filly and Mare Sprint, and $1 million Dirt Mile - will be run on Oct. 26. The eight traditional Breeders' Cup races - topped by the $5 million Classic - will be run Oct. 27.

Pletcher, who went winless with 17 starters in last year's Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs, will be strong in the Classic with Any Given Saturday and Lawyer Ron; the $2 million Distaff with Indian Vale, Octave, Panty Raid, and Unbridled Belle; the $2 million Filly and Mare Turf with Honey Ryder and Wait a While (Panty Raid was cross-entered in here too); and the $3 million Turf with English Channel. Pletcher also pre-entered Sunriver and Icy Atlantic in the Turf, but Sunriver is likely to run in Sunday's $2 million Canadian International at Woodbine. Icy Atlantic was also pre-entered in the Mile.

Icy Atlantic, who was given a first preference of the Turf, according to Pletcher, owns the Monmouth Park course record for a mile, winning the Red Bank in 1:32.42. On Sunday, he worked a very good half-mile in 49.84 seconds over a yielding Belmont inner turf course.

"If we decide to run in the Mile, it's based on the way he worked yesterday and the fact he's run very well at Monmouth," Pletcher said Monday. "If he runs in the Turf, we're trying to ensure a good pace for English Channel."

Last year, Icy Atlantic served as a pacesetter, or rabbit, in the Turf for English Channel, who finished third.

Pletcher pre-entered three horses in Juvenile Turf: stakes winners The Leopard and Why Tonto, as well as the maiden winner Cowboy Cal. The field for the Juvenile Turf is limited to 12 starters, whereas the fields for the other races are limited to 14.

Pletcher's other BC entrant is the Chilean-bred Host, who was pre-entered in the $2 million Mile.

On Sunday, at Belmont, Pletcher put virtually all of his Breeders' Cup contenders through workouts.

Lawyer Ron, winner of the Woodward and Whitney and runner-up to Curlin in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, worked five furlongs in 1:00.71 over Belmont's training track. With exercise rider Eddie King up, Lawyer Ron got his final quarter-mile in 24.39 seconds. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.27, seven furlongs in 1:27.57, and pulled up in a mile in 1:42.63.

"He was on the bridle, but he was relaxed as well," Pletcher said. "I thought he went very well and galloped out strongly afterwards. I'm very pleased with him."

Any Given Saturday, winner of the Brooklyn in his last start, went five furlongs in 1:00.27, getting a final quarter in 24.38 seconds while galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.12, seven furlongs in 1:27.32, and pulling up a mile in 1:41.80.

"Any Given Saturday was pretty keen early, but continued to finish up well and galloped out strongly afterward," Pletcher said.

Indian Vale, runner-up to Unbridled Belle in the Beldame, caught some company in her breeze, as she gained ground on a pair of horses who were working in front of her. John Velazquez had to take a hold of Indian Vale late in the move, which was timed in 1:00.30.

Octave, a two-time Grade 1 winner who finished second in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion at Philadelphia Park, went five furlongs in 1:02.09, while Unbridled Belle, the Beldame winner, went the same distance in 1:02.25.

On a turf course labeled yielding, Wait a While went four furlongs in 50.24, while English Channel went the same distance in 51.16. Honey Ryder and Host went five furlongs in company, both getting 1:03.67, while Sunriver (1:03.04) and The Leopard (1:03.24) also went in company.

My Typhoon in Mile, Distaff

Though My Typhoon earned an automatic berth into the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, she was not pre-entered in that race, trainer Bill Mott said Monday. Instead, My Typhoon was pre-entered in the $2 million Mile and the $2 million Distaff, Mott said.

In July, My Typhoon won the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga, a race that was part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge's "Win and You're In" initiative. While that win secured My Typhoon's spot in the 1 3/8-mile Filly and Mare Turf, Mott doesn't believe she wants to run that far.

"She could run her heart out, and I don't think she's going to run a mile and three-eighths," said Mott of My Typhoon, who finished sixth in the Filly and Mare Turf last year. "I think she's got a better chance against the boys at a mile or even the girls at a mile and an eighth [on dirt]. If I'm going to take a huge risk, I'd rather do one of those two than do something I don't think she's suitable for."

My Typhoon is one of six horses Mott said he pre-entered on Monday. His sextet includes Majestic Warrior and Z Humor in the Juvenile, Zee Zee in the Juvenile Fillies, Forefathers in the Sprint, and Prussian in the Juvenile Turf.

Mott pre-entered Majestic Warrior in the Juvenile after he was unable to find any physical problems with the colt, who finished sixth as the favorite in the Champagne on Oct. 6.

"Right now we're certainly serious about running," Mott said.

Zee Zee was pre-entered in the Juvenile Fillies, even though she has yet to run on dirt. She has won 2 of 3 starts on turf. On Monday, she worked five furlongs in 1:03.34 on dirt in company with Dynamalt, a colt who finished fourth in his debut. Zee Zee got her final quarter in 23.92 seconds.

"We're reaching, but Dreaming of Anna did it last year," said Mott, referring to last year's Juvenile Fillies winner, who was coming off a turf race.

Discreet Cat sharp in drill

Discreet Cat, who is pointing to the Dirt Mile, worked five furlongs in 59.21 seconds Sunday morning over Belmont's main track. He got his last quarter in 22.69 seconds after picking up a team of workers in front of him at the quarter pole.

"It actually worked out good," said Rick Mettee, who oversees the New York string of Discreet Cat's owner, Godolphin. "We wanted a decent work in him. He galloped out a mile in 1:38. He'll breeze once more next weekend, and that should about do it."

Discreet Cat is coming off a third-place finish in the Vosburgh at Belmont on Sept. 30.

* Indian Blessing, winner of the Grade 1 Frizette here on Oct. 6, worked five furlongs in 1:00.47 over the main track Monday morning in preparation for the $2 million Juvenile Fillies. Indian Blessing worked in company with Bunny Junction, a filly trained by John Terranova.