Updated on 09/15/2011 1:10PM

Two ways to skin a Mile


ARCADIA, Calif. - Thady Quill and Redattore are the top contenders in Sunday's $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita. Both are stakes winners this year, have excellent current form, and come from barns with Hall of Fame trainers.

The similarities end there. If they run as expected in Sunday's prep to the Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park on Oct. 27, they are likely to go their separate ways this fall.

Thady Quill, unraced since winning the restricted Wickerr Handicap at Del Mar on July 27, must win the Oak Tree Mile to convince the Breeders' Cup selection committee he is worthy of the $1 million Mile. Trainer Bobby Frankel passed the Atto Mile at Woodbine last month in favor of this race.

"I didn't want to take a chance and run him on soft turf," Frankel said. "I know he likes this turf course."

Even a victory on Sunday will not lead to Redattore starting in the Breeders' Cup Mile later this month. Bred in Brazil, Redattore would have to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup. He will be pointed for the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park next month if he runs well on Sunday, trainer Richard Mandella said.

"The Breeders' Cup is a bad bet," Mandella said. "You're dealing with a percentage deal that's not good business."

Nonetheless, a win on Sunday would emphasize Redattore's status as one of the nation's top milers. A 6-year-old, he won the San Francisco Mile and Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap earlier this year.

Mandella is convinced that Redattore is best at a mile, which makes his third in the Arlington Million over 1 1/4 miles on turf on Aug. 18 all the more impressive.

"If you had a choice, it's the distance you'd want to run," Mandella said. Thady Quill and Redattore will occupy the two outside stalls in a starting gate of nine. Despite the outside draw, they have every chance to get stalking trips behind expected pacesetters I've Decided and Auction House, both of whom are very quick.

I've Decided was second in the Harry Brubaker Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 17, and needs a win to advance to the Breeders' Cup. The same holds true for Val Royal who has not started since finishing second in the Frank Kilroe Handicap last May, and Lonesome Dude, the upset winner of the Live the Dream Handicap at Del Mar. Another leading contender, Spinelessjellyfish, is using the race as a prep to the California Cup Mile on Nov. 3.

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