09/06/2006 11:00PM

St. Leger draws a solid dozen


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

No matter the changes, the Group 1, $850,000 race has drawn a very good field of 12. Sixties Icon rates favoritism off a handy 1 3/4-length score over Jadalee in the 1 1/2-mile Group 3 Gordon Stakes. Trainer Aidan O'Brien will send Tusculum, the only horse in the field who has won over the St. Leger distance. But Red Rocks, a close second in his last three tries going 1 1/2 miles, may finally be ready for a return to the winner's circle. A front-running son of Galileo, he will be the one to catch.

* In the seven-furlong Group 2 Park Stakes, Breeders' Cup Mile hopeful Ifraaj, sidetracked from both the Haydock Park Sprint Cup and the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp because of soft ground, faces 1000 Guineas winner Speciosa.