09/15/2008 11:00PM

Spirit One, Casino Drive shipping in


Spirit One and Casino Drive are the latest foreigners headed to Santa Anita for America's richest prize, the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

Arlington Million winner Spirit One will use Santa Anita's Goodwood Stakes on Sept. 27 as a trial for his intended run in the Classic. Trainer Philippe Demercastel told the Racing Post on Tuesday that he had considered running his 4-year-old son of Anabaa Blue in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on the same day, but wishes to avoid a clash with Curlin. A run in the 1 1/8-mile Goodwood would be Spirit One's first start on any surface other than turf, as well as his first outing since Aug. 9 when he led throughout in the Arlington Million.

Meanwhile, the Japan Racing Association reports that Casino Drive will arrive in California on Oct. 1 to complete preparations for the Classic. The 5 3/4-length winner of the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on May 10 was stymied in his effort to win the Belmont Stakes when he suffered a foot bruise a few days before the race. Returned to Japan by trainer Kazuo Fujisawa with the intent of returning to America for the Classic, Casino Drive will run for the first time since the Peter Pan in a Santa Anita allowance as his trial for the Classic.

Three other highly regarded Europeans also are involved in preparations for a possible run at the Classic. Trainer Aidan O'Brien is considering both Duke of Marmalade and Henrythenavigator, while his fellow Irishman Jim Bolger is contemplating a run with New Approach. All three of those horses could take different paths to the Classic.

O'Brien may run his five-time Group 1 winner Duke of Marmalade, who skipped the Sept. 7 Irish Champion Stakes because of soft ground, in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Oct. 5. He said on Monday, however, that he may instead send Duke of Marmalade to England's newest racetrack, Great Leighs, for a run on Polytrack. Great Leighs, 30 miles northeast of London, has scheduled a Breeders' Cup preview night of sorts on Sept. 27. One of the allowance races on the card will be a 1 1/8-mile, 50-yard prep for the Classic worth $72,000 in which O'Brien may discover how Duke of Marmalade acts on a synthetic surface.

The O'Brien-trained Henrythenavigator, a four-time Group 1 winner at a mile this year, will use the one-mile Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot earlier the same afternoon as a prep for either the Classic or the Mile.

New Approach won the Irish Champion in Duke of Marmalade's absence and will use the Arc as a prep for either the Breeders' Cup Classic or the Oct. 20 Champion Stakes.