Its all over but the waiting and, trust me, its worth the wait.

When 141 horses were pre-entered in Breeders Cup XXIV, all the elements were there, including a Classic field where the winners of the Kentucky Derby and Travers, Preakness and Jockey Club Gold Cup, and the Whitney and Woodward will battle for the title Horse of the Year 2007.

But dont expect Any Given Saturday, Hard Spun or Tiago to roll over when Street Sense, Curlin and Lawyer Ron, respectively, enter the Monmouth Park starting gate. This Classic has the potential to be the best one ever by the time 5:40 rolls around next Saturday evening.

I hate the analogy, but how could it be described any other way: Its War at the Shore.

In all, there will be 11 races over two days, three of them brand new, worth an aggregate $23 million. The event will attract nine hours of national television coverage. ESPN2 will devote two hours to the three new races Friday. ESPN will be on the air from noon Saturday to 7 p.m.

Depending on the broadcast, racings media-starved fans will find out whether too much racing is, well, too much.

My guess is that if you win, it was racing greatest day ever.

Cant get to a TV? No problem. All 11 can be seen on the Internet at and broadcast nationally on radio at HRRN.

A look at the pre-entries with all its first- and second preference permutations is a little weighty at first but, of course, there remains plenty of time to sort it all out.

The next few days will, and should, be spent eliminating the pretenders, researching the unknowns [read Europeans], then wait again, until Tuesday, when final entries are drawn and post positions set.

Then the real eliminating begins.

The fact that the Classic will be a race for the ages is a no-brainer. And its always interesting to see how our best matches up with Europes best on grass or dirt.

Personally, I really havent fallen in love with any filly since, I dont know, Ruffian, Shuvee, Ta Wee, all sentimental favorites. When it comes to racing, guess Im just not a filly guy.

But I am curious about Nashobas Key, the undefeated Californian, ridden by 17-year-old sensation Joe Talamo. I know hes for real. Just want to find out whether shes some feline Lava Man.

Her seven wins are all in California, four on turf, three on synthetics. Not only hasnt she raced outside the Golden State but never has run on legit dirt. Her trainer, Carla Gaines, will saddle her first Breeders Cup runner.

If that doesnt set the racing blood boiling, check your pulse.

Nine days, and counting.