11/08/2006 12:00AM

What's in store for Cup babies at 3


LAS VEGAS - The Breeders' Cup has provided some memorable paydays for pedigree handicappers, especially in the juvenile division, and this year was no different.

The day started out with a victory by Dreaming of Anna in the Juvenile Fillies, a strong pedigree play who transferred her outstanding turf form to dirt in a field of fillies that posed many questions. While she repelled the late run by Octave in deep stretch to win wire to wire, Dreaming of Anna is still a better animal on turf, and I can envision a 3-year-old season that showcases her exceptional talent on the turf as well as some major victories on dirt. She is by the versatile stallion Rahy, who has had many high-quality performers on dirt, most notably champion Serena's Song and Mariah's Storm, who was the dam of Giant's Causeway.

Haven't seen his best yet

While my top selection in the Juvenile was Circular Quay, Street Sense was one of four juvenile colts (along with Great Hunter, C P West, and Scat Daddy) who figured to round out the exotics. Keying Circular Quay up and down in exactas resulted in a nifty $181.20 payoff, and the trifecta with Great Hunter paid $996.

Street Sense is from the first crop of Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry, whose offspring will only get better with maturity and distance. Bred strongly for turf top and bottom (a Tx2 pedigree), Street Sense is another 2-year-old who has many options in the future on all surfaces. Obviously, a 10-length blowout in the most important race for 2-year-old colts and dreams of next year's Kentucky Derby preclude racing on grass, at least for now.

Another pedigree key

Like last year's Juvenile winner and 2-year-old champion, Stevie Wonderboy, Street Sense carries the Rasmussen Factor, or RF (inbreeding to a superior female through different individuals within five generations). Street Sense is inbred 5x4 to the very influential Natalma, through her daughter Raise the Standard (Hoist the Flag) and her most famous offspring, Northern Dancer (Nearctic). Until a few years ago, the Rasmussen Factor was found in only 4 percent of the Thoroughbred population, and while this percentage may have increased because of the success by other high-profile RF's, such as Ashado, Stevie Wonderboy, and Charismatic, it is remarkable that the RF has had such an impact despite being found in less than 10 percent of Thoroughbreds.

In addition to this powerful female family inbreeding, Street Sense is out of Bedazzle (Dixieland Band), a half-sister to stakes winner Binalegend. His second dam, Majestic Legend (His Majesty), is a half-sister to stakes winner and major sire Mr. Greeley.

Circular Quay, who veered to his right after being steadied and pinched at the start, lagged far behind in the 14-horse field before launching a strong run that carried him five wide into the stretch. While Street Sense used the golden rail to put the race away at the top of the stretch, Circular Quay finished strongly to easily be second. By Thunder Gulch - winner of the Kentucky Derby, Belmont, and Travers Stakes and the sire of champions Point Given and Spain - and out of Spinaway Stakes winner Circle of Life, Circular Quay does not have distance limitations and should be even better next year at 3.

Great Hunter had an eventful trip, being steadied in tight at the start and checking sharply after being soundly bumped on the first turn. Despite a rough trip, he rallied four wide at the top of stretch to briefly gain the lead. He finished 2 1/4 lengths behind Circular Quay, but was 2 3/4 lengths ahead of the fourth-place finisher, Scat Daddy.

Great Hunter is from the second crop of Aptitude, who won the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Hollywood Gold Cup and also finished second in the 2000 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Great Hunter should also flourish at 3. Aptitude's best runner from his first crop, Steppenwolfer, was part of a strong group of 3-year-olds who competed in this year's Triple Crown.

Scat Daddy and Teuflesberg, who was 10th in the Juvenile, are by the leading first-crop sire Johannesburg and should be much better on turf. By versatile speed influence Hennessy, Johannesburg won the 2001 Breeders' Cup Juvenile on dirt and his runners are winning on dirt, but he also won six races on turf in England, Ireland, and France, including three Group 1 victories. Marcavelly, a stakes winner on turf who was second to Dreaming of Anna in the Summer Stakes, is an example of the kind of runners Johannesburg is producing on grass. Marcavelly is also out of a full sister to the dam of Artie Schiller.

C P West, who finished a good-looking second in the Futurity Stakes after winning a maiden race, was steadied at the start, raced in traffic for most of the race, and put in a mild rally before flattening out in the stretch to finish sixth. Making just his third start, C P West is a colt with much upside for trainer Nick Zito. He is from the first crop of multiple stakes winner Came Home, and his female family produced one of racing's greats - the 1967 Horse of the Year Damascus.

Principle Secret, so flashy on the West Coast, used his speed to lead the field before fading badly and being eased in the stretch to finish last. Owning a pedigree strictly geared to sprinting up to one mile (by Sea of Secrets out of a Gray Slewpy mare), Principle Secret is hardly Kentucky Derby material.

And unless he can harness his speed, the talented Pegasus Wind (Fusaichi Pegasus), who finished 11th after showing speed early in the Juvenile, will continue to fail at distances over one mile as well.