09/29/2004 11:00PM

Supah Blitz auditioning for BC Classic


ARCADIA, Calif. - Supah Blitz can run himself right into the Breeders' Cup Classic with a convincing win Saturday in the Grade 2 Goodwood Handicap at Santa Anita. It's an ambitious goal, but why not dream a little?

Six older horses entered the nine-furlong, $500,000 Goodwood, including Hollywood Gold Cup winner Total Impact and UAE Derby winner Lundy's Liability. Neither has as much speed as Supah Blitz, whose improved show of speed led to a Grade 2 win at Del Mar on Sept. 5. It was his first start since being purchased privately and transferred to trainer Doug O'Neill, who will endorse a shot at the BC Classic if things go well Saturday.

"It's a hope," O'Neill said, adding that Breeders' Cup plans will be made if Supah Blitz "runs well and comes out of the race well."

On Saturday, there is little reason to expect anything else. Supah Blitz was purchased in August by brothers Tom and Jerry Kagele and Mark Leib, and the 4-year-old proceeded to upset an unlucky Domestic Dispute by a nose. Supah Blitz showed a new dimension - speed - in his first start for O'Neill.

"When we watched videotapes before the deal was inked, we wondered why he was dropping so far out," O'Neill said. "He's got natural speed, so we told Victor [Espinoza] to get after him early, and get him into the race." It worked.

Supah Blitz pressed a strong pace in the Del Mar Handicap, opened up in midstretch, and had just enough left. Corey Nakatani takes over Saturday, and Supah Blitz is the most likely winner even if not the class of the field. He is stretching out from a mile to 1 1/8 miles. Is it a concern?

"It is a little bit, but it seems like in California the place to be is up close," O'Neill said.

has won 5 races and $788,610 from 30 starts. To win the Goodwood, he must hold off the class of the field. That is Total Impact, dropping in company after a creditable third-place finish in the Pacific Classic. Trainer Laura de Seroux hopes the 6-year-old saves himself because he did not conserve his energy in the Pacific Classic.

"I thought he had a wide trip and pressed the pace all the way," she said. "He ran too hard. I think it took away a little bit of his finish. He could have been second if he'd been ridden more conservatively."

Total Impact's best distance is 1 1/4 miles, but he is facing an easier lineup than he faced going against Pleasantly Perfect and Perfect Drift last time.

has won five races and $1.2 million, but requires an $800,000 supplement to run in the BC Classic. De Seroux said that is not likely to happen.

Lundy's Liability makes his first start in the Northern Hemisphere, after winning the Grade 2 UAE Derby in March in Dubai. He has won 3 of 5, and has been training all summer in California with Bobby Frankel's top assistant Humberto Ascanio.

During is 50-50 to start, according to his new trainer, Nick Hines. Californian is a turf specialist racing for the first time since April, and Truly a Judge has a chance at an upset largely because of his up-front running style.

The field

Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap
Purse: $500,000; 1 1/8 miles; Grade 2

1CalifornianM. Pedroza11315-1
2Lundy's LiabilityD. Flores1189-2
3Supah BlitzC. Nakatani1172-1
4Truly a JudgeR. Douglas1148-1
5Total ImpactM. Smith1198-5
6DuringJ. Santiago1167-2

* Odds by Michael Hammersly