11/11/2009 12:00AM

Presious Passion eyes overseas trip

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Barbara D. Livingston
Presious Passion set the pace in the BC Turf, but couldn't hold off Conduit.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Presious Passion, Piscitelli, and Bickersons, the three New Jersey-based horses in last weekend's Breeders' Cup, all came through the experience unscathed.

While they didn't bring back a championship to the Garden State, Presious Passion and Piscitelli turned in terrific efforts.

True to form, Presious Passion opened a huge lead in the Turf. It took a determined effort from defending champion Conduit to edge by in the final stages as Presious Passion held on gamely for second.

Piscitelli also played the role of pacesetter, dictating the fractions in the Juvenile. He kept battling through the lane and finished fourth, beaten only 1 3/4 lengths at 50-1.

Bickersons was caught wide chasing the early pace in the Juvenile Fillies before fading to 10th.

The good news on all three: they came out of their races fit and ready for more.

Presious Passion could be off to see the world.

Trainer Mary Hartmann is weighing invitations to take the 6-year-old gelding to Hong Kong on Dec. 13 and Dubai in the spring.

"We are considering Hong Kong," Hartmann said. "I have to research the situation a little better to see what the weather is, what the turf is like, and see what the competition is like."

Or he could skip Hong Kong to winter in Florida before flying to Dubai.

"I don't know what we're going to do," Hartmann said. "Whatever we do will take a lot out of him. He is a good traveler, so I'm not that worried about that aspect."

Piscitelli targets Fountain of Youth

The solid effort in the Juvenile steered Piscitelli squarely onto the road to the Triple Crown.

Unexpectedly, Piscitelli wound up on the lead in the Juvenile with Kent Desormeaux aboard. He had been racing off the pace, coming from 14th to get fifth in this prior effort, the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland.

"The plan wasn't to be on the lead, but that was just the way the race set up," trainer Greg Sacco said. "What impressed Kent was that the track wasn't speed favoring, and the horse was a little confused in front. Even when he got passed, he was digging in until the very end."

It was an important educational step for Piscitelli, who is 1 for 5 in his budding career.

"We learned a little bit more about him. He's still maturing," Sacco said. "We're obviously very pleased with the way he ran. He took a leap forward in the Breeders' Cup. It's been a nice natural progression. He got traveling experience along with a solid foundation as a 2-year-old."

Piscitelli is now Florida-bound, and after three straight races on synthetic tracks, he is headed back to dirt. Sacco was uncertain as to whether Piscitelli would winter at Gulfstream Park or at the Palm Meadows training center.

Far clearer was the next target: Gulfstream's Fountain of Youth Stakes.

"Hopefully, we'll be on the Derby trail with him," Sacco said.

Bickersons stays for Moccasin

Bickersons is still in California. Trainer Kelly Breen left her behind in the care of Doug O'Neill to run in the $100,000 Moccasin Stakes at seven furlongs on Nov. 22 at Hollywood Park.

In the week leading up the Breeders' Cup, Breen leaned on Bickersons, trying to elevate her game following a third-place finish in Santa Anita's Oak Leaf Stakes.

She might have peaked too soon.

"I don't know if we can say she bounced off her earlier effort out there," Breen said. "It wasn't her best by far. I was trying to tighten the screws, and on Wednesday she looked dynamite and ready to run. The last couple of days before the race, she got a little tired."