10/05/2007 12:00AM

Two trying to win and be in

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - The almighty Breeders' Cup has tightened the noose on California speedballs Bordonaro and Idiot Proof, the key entrants in the six-furlong Grade 1 Ancient Title Stakes on Sunday at Santa Anita.

Multiple stakes winner Bordonaro has only 8 Breeders' Cup points, not enough to be assured a berth in the Sprint.

"We're on the bubble on points," trainer Bill Spawr said. "If we were in, we wouldn't be running [Sunday]. We're running because we have to."

Idiot Proof's only graded stakes win came at Monmouth Park, site of the 2007 Breeders' Cup. The only time Idiot Proof raced there, he set a track record by racing six furlongs in 1:07.47 and winning the Jersey Shore BC in July.

"One way or another, he's going back to Monmouth," trainer Cliff Sise said.

The $300,000 Ancient Title is a "Win and You're In" race that gives the winner a BC Sprint berth. If he does not get in, Idiot Proof will run at Monmouth in the $200,000 Select Stakes for 3-year-olds on the Breeder's Cup undercard.

The Ancient Title is race 7 Sunday, and includes one other key starter - multiple graded stakes winner Greg's Gold. The two outsiders are Barbecue Eddie and Bad Boy. It's a three-horse race on paper, including two that will hook up early.

Bordonaro, a 10-for-18 veteran who won the Ancient Title last year, drew poorly in post 1. The question is how much will the rail compromise Bordonaro's chances? "Probably quite a bit, because we're going to have to commit early," Spawr said.

Richard Migliore rides Bordonaro, whose only option is to gun. The strategy is suitable on the new, fast Cushion Track, a surface Bordonaro will welcome after failing to carry his speed in either of his starts this summer on the slow Polytrack at Del Mar.

"Every horse that had his kind of speed suffered," Spawr said.

Bordonaro has won just 1 of 5 starts this year, albeit with excuses. He finished sixth in the Pat O'Brien and third in the Bing Crosby on a Del Mar track he did not like, and ran seventh with a troubled trip in the True North at Belmont.

"I can excuse those races," Spawr said. "I just wish he would have drawn where we could do what we wanted. If he runs so-so, was it because of strategy, or is it that he is not good enough?"

Idiot Proof, after winning 4 of 7 against his own age group, is facing older for the first time. "Now, you're running against the warriors," Sise said. "This is his biggest test, on a track he trains good on."

Idiot Proof bombed last out at Del Mar, on a tiring track that compromised his up-front style. His recent workouts have been sharp, and he and jockey David Flores are drawn outside their main rivals in post 4. If he reproduces the 113 Beyer Speed Figure he earned at Monmouth, he can win the Ancient Title.

Greg's Gold, 7 for 19, won the seven-furlong Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Handicap last time out at Del Mar, giving him a spot in the BC Sprint. Victor Espinoza rides Greg's Gold.