09/06/2006 11:00PM

St. Leger could come down to four


The 231st running of the world's oldest classic, the St. Leger Stakes, will be held for the first time at York on Saturday, as its longtime home, Doncaster, is undergoing renovation. First run in 1776, the St. Leger will also be run at a flat 1 3/4 miles, 132 yards short of its usual distance at Doncaster.

A Group 1 event that carries a $850,000 purse, the St. Leger has drawn a field of 12 runners, four of whom could be involved in the finish.

Sixties Icon, a Jeremy Noseda-trained son of Galileo out of English Oaks winner Love Divine, rates favoritism off a 1 3/4-length score over Jadalee in the 1 1/2-mile Group 3 Gordon Stakes. Jadalee also returns in the St. Leger.

Aidan O'Brien sends Tusculum, the only horse in the field who has won over the St. Leger distance, in a Curragh listed event Aug. 26.

Red Rocks may finally be ready to return to the winners' circle after finishing a close second in his last three tries going 1 1/2 miles, in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris, and the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes. A front-runner trained by Brian Meehan, Red Rocks will be the one to catch.

Of greater interest to American onlookers is the seven-furlong Group 2 Park Stakes, in which Godolphin's Breeders' Cup Mile hopeful Ifraaj, sidetracked from both the Haydock Park Sprint Cup and the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp last weekend because of soft ground, faces 1000 Guineas winner Speciosa. Ifraaj will be ridden by Frankie Dettori for trainer Saeed bin Suroor, and Speciosa will be ridden by Micky Fenton for trainer Pamela Sly.