10/14/2007 11:00PM

Student Council eyes Japan Cup Dirt

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - Student Council will skip the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Classic and will instead ship to California this weekend to prepare for a run in the Nov. 24 Japan Cup Dirt, owner Ro Parra announced Sunday.

Student Council won major races in his last two starts but nonetheless was widely regarded as an outsider in what is shaping up as an extremely tough renewal of the Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park.

Parra, under the stable name Millennium Farms, privately purchased Student Council last summer from breeder-owner Will Farish and immediately struck gold, as the horse has won his only two starts under new silks, the Grade 1 Pacific Classic and Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup. The victory in the Pacific Classic makes the horse eligible for an $833,300 bonus linking the race with the Japan Cup Dirt.

The base purse for the Japan Cup Dirt, which is run at Tokyo Racecourse, is about $2.3 million, while the BC Classic purse is $5 million. Parra said through a Kentucky publicity agent that the Japan Cup Dirt "is a prestigious international race, and we believe we can compete and win the race." He also called the bonus "a significant factor" in his decision to skip the BC Classic and point for the Japan race.

Student Council, a 5-year-old horse by Kingmambo, was trained in recent weeks by Steve Asmussen at Keeneland. He is scheduled to return to the barn of Vladimir Cerin on Friday. The horse won the Aug. 19 Pacific Classic at Del Mar in Cerin's name, then was transferred to Asmussen, who won the Sept. 29 Hawthorne Gold Cup with him.

Richard Migliore, the veteran jockey who has ridden Student Council both times since Parra bought him, will have the mount again in Japan.

Street Sense breezes at Churchill

Street Sense had his final maintenance work at Churchill Downs before leaving for the Breeders' Cup when he breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 early Monday over a fast track. Regular rider Calvin Borel was aboard.

"He's fit and he's ready," Borel said.

Street Sense, one of the obvious favorites for the Breeders' Cup Classic, is scheduled to leave Churchill by van Thursday night and arrive in New Jersey the following morning.

Among those watching the Monday work at Churchill was breeder-owner Jim Tafel.

"He's gorgeous - on top of his game," Tafel said. "I'm very proud as an owner, and particularly proud as the breeder."

Trainer Carl Nafzger said Street Sense will have his final prerace work early next week at Monmouth.

Another top prospect for the Classic, Curlin, also worked Monday, breezing before dawn over the Keeneland Polytrack. With exercise rider Carmen Rosas aboard, Curlin was timed in 1:01.20 for five furlongs.

Trainer Steve Asmussen plans to have Curlin work once more at Keeneland before the colt departs for Monmouth next week.

Bejarano wins five Sunday

Jockey Rafael Bejarano came within one win of tying the Keeneland mark for most victories in a day when he booted home five winners on the Sunday card.

Bejarano entered the day tied with Julien Leparoux with nine wins apiece, so the big afternoon gives him a five-win advantage as the 17-day fall meet hits its midway point Wednesday. Leparoux was shut out Sunday.

Bejarano's wins came on Grand Strike ($8.60) in the first, Giant Basil ($4.40) in the fifth, Sweetness 'n Light ($3.40) in the sixth, Meal Penalty ($8.40) in the seventh, and Indescribable ($9.20) in the ninth.

Randy Romero and Craig Perret are the only jockeys to have won six on a Keeneland card, with both having pulled off the feat at the 1990 spring meet.

Purim pre-entered in BC Mile

Trainer Tom Proctor confirmed Monday that Purim, upset winner of the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile on Oct. 6, has been pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup Mile, a race for which the 5-year-old horse earned an automatic berth by virtue of the "Win and You're In" campaign offered for the first time this year by Breeders' Cup Ltd.

All Breeders' Cup pre-entries were due Tuesday, with official announcement of pre-entries for all 11 races scheduled for Wednesday.

T.D. Vance heads turf sprint

A field of 11 turf-sprint specialists has been entered for the Thursday feature at Keeneland, the $100,000 Woodford. T.D. Vance, shortening back after finishing eighth in the Shadwell Mile, looks like the horse to beat in the 5 1/2-furlong race.

From the rail, the field is Ever a Friend, Warrior Within, Shark, Timeaftertimeafter, Fort Prado, Atticus Kristy, T.D. Vance, Rock Chalk, Raedonald, Hold the Salt, and Country Manners.

* Nominations are due Wednesday for the four stakes that help to open the Churchill fall meet. Those races are the $200,000 Chilukki on Nov. 3, the $200,000 Ack Ack on Nov. 3, the $100,000 Cherokee Run on Nov. 4, and the $100,000 Very Subtle on Nov. 4. The meet opens the day after the Breeders' Cup, Oct. 28.