09/23/2003 11:00PM

Ten likely for BC 'Cap

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap is taking on a different look than it had earlier in the week.

Decarchy, who looked like a probable entrant, will pass in favor of a possible engagement in the Grade 2, $300,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile next weekend.

Bonaguil, looking for his first U.S. victory, has also dropped off the list of probable runners.

Nonetheless, the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap, the meet's premier stakes, will have a field of 10.

Mister Acpen, second in the Grade 1 Charlie Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park in June, is now expected to run. A Group 1 winner in his native Chile, he is still looking for his initial U.S. stakes win. Mister Acpen is likely to set or contest the pace with Lily's Lad.

Course specialist Ninebanks is the likely favorite, but Fateful Dream and Aly Bubba, two horses who have returned from layoffs, could be factors as well.

Trainer Bobby Frankel will be represented by Fateful Dream, who had chips removed from an ankle after he ran third in last summer's H.F. Brubaker at Del Mar.

After 11 months on the sidelines, Fateful Dream returned to run fourth behind Special Ring in the Grade 1 Eddie Read at Del Mar on July 27, losing a three-way photo for second to stablemate Decarchy and Irish Warrior.

Fateful Dream was then second after setting the pace in this year's H.F. Brubaker, on Aug. 22 at Del Mar.

"He's a nice horse," said Frankel's assistant, Humberto Ascanio. "He's sound, and the horse is good now."

Holly Evans thinks that Aly Bubba, who gets in at 113 pounds, will improve off his fourth-place finish behind Ninebanks in the California Turf Championship here on Labor Day.

Aly Bubba lost by a neck to Royal Gem while edging Century City in last fall's Grade 3 Bay Meadows Derby. He was given a 7 1/2-month break after an allowance victory in January.

The Cal Turf "was like a quarter-mile work for him," Evans said.

"He wasn't handling the course at all early," the trainer said. "He was just getting started when the race ended. I usually give my horses time to recover after races, but he was back at the track three days later."

* The meet's first Friday night card is topped by a 1 1/16-mile, $40,000 starter allowance. Truckee Warrior and Rio Reyes, second and third against similar in their first two starts against winners, are the ones to beat and will likely duel from the gate.