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Author Topic: Distaff notes - 10/30  (Read 999 times)
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« on: October 30, 2006, 03:48:19 PM »

Asi Siempre - Galloped 1 1/2m at Keeneland Monday and will work 5f there on Tuesday. Trainer Patrick Biancone said Monday he will ship Asi Siempre, who also holds a second preference to race in the Filly & Mare Turf, and his other three Breeders' Cup starters to Churchill Downs on Thursday afternoon.

            Julien Leparoux, will ride all four of Biancone's Breeders' Cup starters.


Baghdaria - The Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks winner was doing well on Monday after her bullet workout of 5f in 1:00 flat on Sunday at Churchill Downs.

            "We were happy with the work and she's doing well," reported trainer Tom Amoss. "Her last win was her biggest and most impressive, but we know she'll have to step up here."


Balletto - A major player in the Distaff, Balletto galloped Monday at Belmont Park.  Tuesday, she is scheduled to breeze five furlongs at Belmont Park for trainer Tom Albertrani.  Jockey Corey Nakatani rides in the Distaff.

            By Timber Country - the 1994 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner - Balletto became the first horse bred in the United Arab Emirates to win a North American Grade I race when she took the Frizette in October 2004.  Although she is winless in six starts this season, Balletto's narrow losses in marquee races like the Go for Wand, Personal Ensign and Beldame have launched her towards the top of her division. 

In her last start, Balletto was beaten a head by Fleet Indian in Belmont's one-turn, nine-furlong Beldame on Oct. 7.  Fleet Indian, of course, will be the Distaff favorite after winning eight straight races.

            "This distance is probably key for her," Albertrani said.  "Running in a one-turn race at Belmont is more or less like a sprint.  Two turns might suit her a little better and right now she's doing so well.  She's very consistent, she's doing good and she just needs the right kind of trip."


Bushfire - Ronald and Ricki Rashinski's 3yo filly Bushfire worked 4f over Keeneland's all-weather track on Sunday in 48.  She walked the shedrow at Keeneland on Monday morning before getting on a van along with other horses trained by Eddie Kenneally headed towards Churchill Downs.

            "She's had a great year.has won three grade ones," said Kenneally. "She has established herself as a candidate for the 3yo filly division."

            Bushfire will make her first start against older fillies and mares in the Distaff.

            "Well, they're a very solid, deep group," said Kenneally of the quality of the field.  "It's going to be a real test.  We'll find out how she matches up against the older mares."

            Jockey Alex Solis will have the mount on Bushfire.  Previously, he rode her to victory in the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park.

Fleet Indian - Paul Saylor's Fleet Indian walked the shedrow after breezing 5f on Sunday morning in 1:02 4/5. The likely favorite for the Distaff on the strength of an eight-race winning streak, the New York-bred daughter of Indian Charlie has amazed trainer Todd Pletcher with her consistency. "You can dissect all of her races, and you see a tough mare that has really come into her own when she started getting more distance," Pletcher said. "She has been training as well as we could have hoped and we believe she is capable of another big effort on Saturday." Regular jockey Jose Santos has the mount on Fleet Indian, who will arrive on Wednesday afternoon.


Happy Ticket - Stewart Madison's 5yo mare Happy Ticket walked the shedrow at Churchill Downs on Monday morning.  She worked 5f here on Saturday in 1:03 4/5 over a track labeled 'good.'  She has been at Churchill Downs since shipping from Keeneland on Oct. 23.

            Trainer Andrew Leggio Jr. commented on the depth of quality in the Distaff by saying, "There are 14 horses in this race.and anyone can win it."

            Happy Ticket raced in last year's Distaff, finishing an uncharacteristic 11th.  "When she stopped like she did and we couldn't find anything wrong with her legs, we had her scoped," explained Leggio.  "We had surgery performed, a myectomy and epiglottis shave (to correct a breathing problem), and then gave her 60 days to recover.  She's gone back to her old self."

            She won in her first start back after the surgery and has been "training forward" ever since, according to Leggio.  "And she won her only race at Churchill Downs, the Fleur de Lis.  That doesn't hurt anything.

            "Other than last year's Breeders' Cup, she's only run out of the money one other time, that was last out over Polytrack (sixth place in the Spinster at Keeneland).  She was boxed in and just followed the crew until there was a little opening, but it closed and shut off all chances for her," said Leggio.

            Jockey Garrett Gomez gets the return mount on Happy Ticket.

            Going into the Distaff, she posts a career record of 19-12-5-0.  "East coast to west coast, down south.she runs well everywhere she goes," Leggio said.


Healthy Addiction - The Boston Harbor jogged 1 1/2m Monday morning - about 1 ½-miles worth - under Jose Alferez as she went back to the track following a "walking" day Sunday. The consistent 5yo had put in her final drill for the Breeders' Cup Distaff Saturday at Hollywood Park on the new "Cushion Track" surface with clockers timing her in 1:26 for the move.

            Trainer John Sadler, who has handled the Kentucky-bred throughout a 22-race career that has seen her finish first or second 16 times, termed her work "excellent," and noted that he was very pleased with the way she was coming up to her big engagement.

            "I think of her in terms of Lava Man," the conditioner offered. "He's the dominant male in California and I think she's the dominant female. She's had a fine season (winning four of seven starts with a second and a third, all against stakes horses) and she continues to do well."

            Sadler agreed that Healthy Addiction's two worst races came when she shipped away from Southern California - once to the Bay Area and once to New York for last year's Breeders' Cup - but he thinks a different result might be in the offing this time around.

            "Of course you can't be sure with these sort of things until they actually go and run, but I think we've tweaked things enough to where we can expect better from her this time," he said. "She's older and more mature now and I'm going to bring her in closer to the race this time. When we went back to New York last year it did nothing but rain and she didn't care for it at all. I couldn't train her the way I wanted to. This time we're going in a lot closer and I think we're going to see better weather - and I know I've been training her in better weather here.

"I also like the way she's been training on the 'Cushion Track' here. I think it has been getting her very fit. And I also think my horse - and I think generally speaking the California horses - are going to take to the Churchill Downs track and the whole environment there better than they did New York. As I said, you don't know about these things until they happen, but I'm thinking there are some things in our favor this go-round."                                                                 

            Healthy Addiction will have the saddle services of Victor Espinoza for the Distaff. Espinoza has ridden her five times previously, winning four and finishing second once.


Hollywood Story - The daughter of Wild Rush followed up her Sunday drill at Churchill Downs by merely walking the shedrow at the Louisville oval Monday morning. Her Sunday move, accomplished in 1:03 for 5f, was "just fine" for trainer John Shirreffs, who monitored happenings with his charge from his Hollywood Park headquarters in California.

            The 5yo mare will gallop up to the Distaff Saturday and will be ridden by David Flores for the nine-furlong headliner.


Lemons Forever - Two days after her final breeze for the Distaff, the Kentucky Oaks winner returned to the track Monday morning and jogged.

Trainer Dallas Stewart said the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid is scheduled to gallop at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning.

Though she is based at Churchill Downs, Stewart sent Lemons Forever to Keeneland Saturday for a workout over the all-weather track. She completed the 5f in 59 4/5, the fourth-fastest of the 30 horses that covered the distance that day.

"The track was a little muddy here, so we took her over there," Stewart said.

The Distaff will be Lemons Forever's first start at Churchill Downs since she rallied from last in the field of 14 to win the Oaks by 1 ½ lengths on May 5.

"She won her biggest race here; she comfortable here," Stewart said.

Since the Oaks, Lemons Forever was fourth in the Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park, third in the Alabama at Saratoga and fifth, beaten 2 ¾ lengths, in the Spinster at Keeneland.

 "She's actually run well all year," Stewart said. "She didn't have any pace to run at last time. They went three-quarters in 1:16. That didn't help her. In the Alabama she was really wide and she ran hard. She's run hard all year. Maybe she will get it all put together here on Saturday."

Lemons Forever will have her regular rider, Mark Guidry, on her in the Distaff.


Pine Island - Pine Island walked the shedrow Monday at Belmont Park.  The nation's leading 3yo filly off victories in the prestigious Alabama and Gazelle, Pine Island starts for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, a three-time winner of the Distaff.  Jockey Javier Castellano has the mount aboard Pine Island on Saturday.

            Although Pine Island meets a stellar field in the Distaff and has never faced stakes-quality older foes, McGaughey is confident his filly will run her race.

            "I'm not worried about stepping up against older horses," McGaughey said.  "If she goes down there and gets a hold of that racetrack, she'll be fine."


Pool Land - Pool Land walked the shedrow after working 5f on Belmont Park's training track on Sunday in 1:02 3/5. John Velazquez has the mount for the Distaff. "She got her Grade I win in the Ruffian and earned her way here," said trainer Todd Pletcher of the 4yo Silver Deputy filly.

"She has good speed and she has been very consistent this year. She lost at Saratoga, but that was a different kind of track up there this year, and it took some getting used to."   

Round Pond - Following her work at Keeneland Sunday, the Fox Hill Farm filly walked the shedrow Monday morning at Churchill Downs.

            The daughter of Awesome Again breezed 5f in 59 seconds Sunday, the second-fastest of 26 times at the distance.

            Edgar Prado, who rode trainer Michael Matz's Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro this year, will ride Round Pond Saturday.

            Since being transferred to Matz earlier this year, Round Pond has raced twice. She finished second by a head in the Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park on Aug. 27 and was third in the Beldame at Belmont Park on Oct. 7.         

"We had some problems with her when I first got her, with her feet," Matz said. "Hopefully, we've got that taken care of."

Matz said the trouble with the feet caused him to miss the final work with the filly before the Beldame.

"It was not a good situation," he said. "So far, knock on wood, she's been good for this one. Hopefully, we have to figure out a way to make up seven lengths.

"She's coming into the race the right way this time. She came into the Molly Pitcher good and it was sort of a shame; she tried real hard and just missed by a head. But it was a muddy, sloppy track. Edgar is going to ride her here and she's going the right way."


Sharp Lisa - In what might be her last race for trainer Doug O'Neill, the 4yo daughter of Dixieland Band will be making her second appearance on Breeders' Cup championship day when she goes to the gate in Saturday's Distaff.

The filly finished sixth for O'Neill in the 2004 Juvenile Fillies at Lone Star Park.

In preparation for the Saturday race, Sharp Lisa traveled 1 1/2m at Churchill Downs Monday morning under exercise rider Antonio Romero.


Spun Sugar - Spun Sugar walked the shedrow at Belmont Park after working 5f on the training track in 1:02 4/5 on Sunday. She defeated Balletto by a nose in Saratoga's Grade 1 Go for Wand, but ran eighth in Keeneland's Spinster. In the Spinster, however, she was beaten 3 ½ lengths for it all.

"Her last race was on the Polytrack, and looking back, she probably should have been ridden differently," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "The way it worked out, it looks like you want to be back and make one, big run on that track. We were forwardly placed, and while it still is too early to tell, it seems you want to make one run on Polytrack."

Mike Luzzi, with a reputation as a good gate jockey who loves the lead, will be aboard Spun Sugar in the Distaff.


Summerly - The 2005 Kentucky Oaks winner galloped two miles on Monday at Churchill Downs and is scheduled to have a workout on Tuesday. The connections of the 4yo filly are still holding out hope they will make the Distaff, but are starting to have doubts with only two days until entries are taken. Summerly is first on the preference list and needs one horse to defect before she makes it into the Distaff field.

            "We were surprised that she was left out, and although it's looking doubtful, we are still hoping," said trainer Scott Blasi. "Her first three races of the year were designed to get her to this race and she's absolutely as good as she was last year."

Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan will have the mount if Summerly does make the field.
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