A couple of news items trickling out on potential Breeders' Cup contenders shipping in from across the pond:
The connections of Behkabad (FR), fourth place finisher of the Arc and winner of the Group 2 Prix Neil, have stated that they will head to Churchill Downs to run in the Turf. (Racing Post: Behkabad aimed at Breeders' Cup Turf).
Behkabad was the betting favorite in this year's Arc, is a tried and true runner at twelve furlongs (although he's also won at a mile and a mile and a eighth), has had success over both soft and good turf courses in Europe, and would be a strong contender for win honors in this year's Turf.
The connections of San Frontieres (IRE), winner of three straight Group races, including the Irish St. Leger at the Curragh, have stated that they may also take a shot at the Breeders' Cup Turf.
San Frontieres would be a curious betting interest in the Turf in that he probably won't have the "flash" attached to him like a horse exiting the Arc or another of the big Group 1 races in Europe. He is, however, a proven winner at the Group level in races at a mile and a half and longer. San Frontieres would come into the Turf having won three straight group races: Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes (12f - Newmarket), Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (13f - Newbury), and Group 1 Irish St. Leger (14f - Curragh).
San Frontieres looks like one of those European horses that could get ignored on the tote board and then run a huge race at good odds. If he ships over he's definitely one to watch.
And finally, and certainly not least, in what is shaping up to be a Breeders' Cup Mile for the ages, Paco Boy (IRE) will go to Churchill Downs to take on rival and two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner Goldikova (IRE). Paco Boy won the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, Group 2 Bet365 Mile in 2010, and the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2009. He's also finished second to Goldikova in both the Group 1 Prix de la Foret and the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes in 2010.
Think about some of the horses that are considering the Mile this year:
- Goldikova: Going for three in a row
- Paco Boy: One of Goldikova's chief rivals in Europe
- Gio Ponti: Former Arlington Million winner who made a spirited return to a mile last weekend at Keeneland
- Rip Van Winkle: More likely for the Classic but still a Mile possibility
- Court Vision: Winner of the Woodbine Mile
- Proviso (GB): winner of four straight Grade 1 races
- Sidney's Candy: A big time turf talent waiting on a pending sale
That's not a bad line-up at all, and we could still see a few more European horses decide to toss their hat into the ring. This year's Mile could be an epic race.