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Author Topic: Distaff  (Read 2132 times)
jrstark
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« on: October 26, 2005, 11:03:12 PM »

Tuesday, October 25, 2005      Contact: Breeders’ Cup Notes Team (516) 328-6017


EMIRATES AIRLINE BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF NOTES

Ashado – The defending champion in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Distaff was doing fine the morning after her final workout ahead of Saturday’s attempt at two straight wins in the 1 1/8 miles race.
   “She put away her workmate and went into idle a bit,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “That’s typical for her, but she’s looking good and doing great this morning.”
   Ashado will be making her final start Saturday and Pletcher calls the event “bittersweet,” but says she’s following much the same pattern as her run-up to her win last year.
   “It’s been a perfect schedule for us and her,” he said. “She came out of the Cotillion last year and had the same amount of time leading into this race. This year she did the same thing in the Beldame and she’s pretty familiar with facing deep fields like this.”

Capeside Lady – Trainer Todd Pletcher says he feels fortunate with the way schedules have played out for his eight-strong contingent of runners in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup including his lone non-Belmont Park based runner in Capeside Lady.
   “We’re going to ship her here Wednesday,” said Pletcher. “With the way the weather has been around here, I think we’re lucky we didn’t try to get her up here sooner.”
   The 4yo daughter of Cape Town will be among several Kentucky-based runners arriving on flights Wednesday.

Happy Ticket – Stewart Madison’s 10-for-12 filly Happy Ticket walked the shedrow under tack at Belmont on Tuesday, “just to keep her fit,” according to her groom Debra Quinteros.  Trainer Andrew Leggio, Jr. is to fly out of New Orleans today for New York and will be at the barn Wednesday morning.
   This morning’s inclement weather had little impact on Happy Ticket’s training schedule.  “She would have done a slow gallop today, so she’s not off schedule,” said Quinteros.  “She will work a half (mile) here on Wednesday, most likely on the training track.”
   Quinteros said she’s honored to be associated with such a fine filly and added, “We hope she’s the first Louisiana-bred to get this far,” meaning a victory in the Breeders’ Cup.  Only two other Louisiana-breds have competed in Breeders’ Cup races: Fit to Scout, eighth in the 1991 Distaff and Taxpayer’s Folly, 12th in the 1986 Juvenile Fillies.

Healthy Addiction – In what might seem a strange turn events, Southern California-based trainer John Sadler and his Distaff runner braved the elements Tuesday morning and went to the training track where the 4yo filly, owned by Pamela Ziebarth, galloped 1 ½ miles.
Sadler said the rain was not bad as he and the filly went out to train but the wind was strong. “We had the place almost all to ourselves,” the trainer said, adding, “I guess we were the only ones crazy enough to go out there.”
In addition, he said, “She doesn’t mind the ‘off’ going. In fact, we wouldn’t mind mud on Saturday,” finishing off the comment with broad smile.

Hollywood Story – The 4yo filly was scheduled to arrive Tuesday afternoon for the Distaff after a flight from California. The Hollywood Park-based filly will try to win for the first time away from Hollywood Park. Her three career victories, all graded stakes, have been at the Inglewood, Calif. track.

In the Gold – Trainer Nick Zito sent his Distaff prospect, owned by Live Oak Plantation, jogging his shedrow Tuesday morning to shelter her from the storm outside.
Of the daughter of Golden Missile, Zito said, “In the Gold is very consistent. A lot people forget that she got beat by only a nose in the Bonnie Miss [at Gulfstream Park], then won the prestigious Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland; and then, lo and behold, she finished second in the Kentucky Oaks. She was third in the Acorn, third in the Test and then won the Gazelle.”
The trainer believes that record makes her a model of consistency.
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Island Fashion – Trainer Marcelo Polanco, bowing to weather conditions, had the 5yo Petionville mare walk the shedrow Tuesday morning with exercise rider Jenny Johnson in the saddle.
Explaining his choice of the day’s training, Polanco said, “It’s too windy and wet. I don’t want to take any chances. She’s been working right along, so I’m not going to lose anything with just one day off. I don’t want her to get sick.”
The trainer said he will send her to the track on Wednesday, weather permitting, and will school in the paddock during Friday’s race day. The mare is owned by Everest Stables and will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano.

Nothing But Fun – Lightly-raced Nothing But Fun was hand-walked in the shedrow Tuesday, a day after breezing 5 f at Belmont Park in 59 4/5. Foreman Diane McKenna was in charge as trainer Michael Hushion was in Saratoga looking over another string and Belmont assistant Orlando Emmolo was off.
   “She breezed very well yesterday,” McKenna said.
   The 3yo has never raced on an off-track, but the foreman noted she had handled off-going in training.
   Plans for Wednesday were uncertain, she said. “Mike is waiting to see what happens with the racetrack.”

Pleasant Home – The Spinster and Ballerina runner-up in her last two starts jogged a mile over the Saratoga training track Tuesday morning for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.
   She is scheduled to ship downstate Wednesday.

Society Selection – Having worked 7f in 1:26 on Monday in preparation for the Distaff, Society Selection’s training wasn’t disrupted by Tuesday morning’s heavy rains. Trainer Allen Jerkens had already scheduled the 4yo daughter of Coronado’s Quest to walk under the shedrow.
   Jerkens didn’t change his routine either, overseeing the training of his stable atop his pony, Circus.  The 76-year-old Hall of Fame trainer seemed unconcerned about any possible track conditions on Saturday.
   “She’s won on every kind of track and she’s lost on every kind of track,” Jerkens said.

Stellar Jayne – The Godolphin hope for the Distaff walked the shedrow Tuesday morning after working 5f in 1:01 1/5 Monday over the Belmont Park main track.
Rick Mettee, assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor, made the right decision to work the 4yo a day early and said she would just gallop up to the race. Stellar Jayne, who will be ridden by stable jockey Frankie Dettori, has not won on an off track.

Sweet Symphony – Although the 3yo daughter of A.P. Indy was late in getting started, she made a huge splash by winning her first four career races, including the Alabama Stakes, between May 12 and Aug. 20. Sweet Symphony lacked her strong late punch in her most recent start to finish fourth in the Beldame at Belmont, an effort trainer Bill Mott can’t explain.
    “She wasn’t on her game. She ran a dull race, but did she have any huge excuse? No,” said Mott, who scheduled Sweet Symphony to walk under the shedrow Tuesday morning after she’d worked 5f in 1:00 2/5 on Monday.
   Mott  is hoping that a return to her previous form in the Distaff could earn Sweet Symphony an Eclipse Award as the 3yo filly champion.

Yolanda B. Too – West Point Stable’s Yolanda B. Too tack-walked the shedrow at Aqueduct for trainer Richard Violette.
   “I took one set out early this morning because I had to, but that was it,” Violette said. “She is doing great this morning.”
   Yolanda B. Too had a mile open gallop Monday at Aqueduct as her final major prep for the Distaff. She will be ridden by Eibar Coa.
   With more rain forecast for the week, Violette was asked what an off track would do for Yolanda B. Too’s chances Saturday.
   “Pedigree-wise, she is bred to handle it, “Violette said of the Two Punch filly. “It might help us.”
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jrstark
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2005, 04:12:27 PM »

Thursday, October 27, 2005                   Contact: Breeders’ Cup Notes Team (516) 328-6017


EMIRATES AIRLINE BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF NOTES

Ashado – The defending champion in the Emirates Airline Distaff galloped 1 3/8 miles Thursday morning as she continues her march toward her final career race.

            After winning the Beldame in her last start, the 4yo daughter of Saint Ballado was made the 2-1 morning line favorite to repeat despite joining a 13-horse cast that many view as a wide-open race.

            “The Beldame was impressive, but she maybe hasn’t been as consistent this year as she was last year,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “It’s making for a deep field, but she’s used to running in deep fields.”

            Jockey John Velazquez was aboard Ashado for her Monday workout, guiding her through 5f in 1:00 2/5.

            “She’s been a great filly for us,” said Velazquez. “She’s getting a little older and sometimes they don’t run their best every time as they get older, but she’s doing great.”

 

Capeside Lady – In her first morning since joining the main string of Todd Pletcher-trained horses at Belmont, the winner of the Molly Pitcher Breeders’ Cup Oaks this summer at Monmouth Park galloped a mile over the main track Thursday.

            The 4yo daughter of Cape Town has done her best work away from New York since winning two restricted stakes for New York-breds as a 2yo filly in 2003. She was third in the Spinster at Keeneland in her last start with her last four victories coming at Monmouth.

            Jockey Chris DeCarlo, who is the first-call jockey for Pletcher in New Jersey, will be aboard Saturday in his first Breeders’ Cup ride.

 

Happy Ticket – Stewart Madison’s homebred filly Happy Ticket walked the shedrow Thursday morning as she worked 4f at Belmont Wednesday.  Her trainer, 71-year-old Andrew Leggio, Jr., arrived in New York Wednesday and was at the barn Thursday morning.

            A Louisiana-bred, Happy Ticket won her first eight races in her home state before taking on graded company out-of-town.

“After her eighth win and she had beaten everybody in Louisiana easily, we wanted to get some Grade I-type for the filly to enhance her value,” said Leggio.  “That’s what we set out to do, and we accomplished it.”

            Happy Ticket’s last four races have been outside of Louisiana and are all graded stakes.  But Leggio is quick to identify their Louisiana roots.

            “I’m just a ‘Louisiana Cajun mudbug,’ ” he said.  “And she’s been a good thing for Louisiana.  They (the fans) go crazy there.  In fact, she got more attention (press coverage) back home when she ran (second) in the Beldame here than the Super Derby that same weekend.”

            The versatile daughter of Anet has run successfully at a variety of distances and even on turf, so Leggio is slightly reluctant to say which distance might be her best.

            “She’s run all the distances and surfaces,” he said.  “What else can she do…except win this Breeders’ Cup race?”

 

Healthy Addiction – A smiling John Sadler continues to be enthusiastic about the training for the 4yo daughter of Boston Harbor, saying Thursday morning, “We’ve done what we’ve needed to do and we’re ready to run.”

The trainer said his Distaff prospect, owned by Pamela C. Ziebarth, galloped over the training track Thursday and will take to the main track on Friday for a once-around gallop and a schooling session in the gate.

According to Sadler, the filly is the type who needs to come in early and settle when she ships to a new venue, and that’s exactly the way the trainer handled her travel plans. Thursday marked her eighth day at Belmont Park and Sadler believes the time in New York has served her well. “She has settled in beautifully,” he said.

 

 

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Hollywood Story – The 4yo filly jogged 7f and galloped once around the main track under exercise rider Michelle Jensen for the Distaff Thursday.

“She shipped very well and she handled the track very well,” said Jensen, assistant to trainer John Shirreffs. “It was deep out there. She loved it.”

Jensen said that a jockey change to Patrick Valenzuela should help the filly, who will be trying to spring an upset of Giacomo-like proportions in the Kentucky Derby for Shirreffs. “She is coming up to the race very good,” cautioned Jensen.

Groom Francisco Leal is also here with the filly. Shirreffs is scheduled to arrive Thursday night.

 

In the Gold – Trainer Nick Zito sent his 3yo daughter of Golden Missile for some schooling at the gate before setting her down for a 1 ½-mile gallop over Belmont Park’s main track Thursday morning. The trainer said the Gazelle winner is moving sharply toward her Saturday date in the Distaff.

The outside post position for the Live Oak Plantation filly is no bother for Zito. “It’s a fine post for her,” the trainer said, adding that she’ll be able to do whatever she wants from that spot in the gate.

 

Island Fashion – The 5yo daughter of Petionville got plenty of work Thursday as she jogged a mile prior to galloping 1 ¼ miles on the main track, leading trainer Marcelo Polanco to say the mare has settled in beautifully and seems to be very fond of the Belmont Park track.

“She’s a very mellow mare,” he said, “and has a very nice personality.”

Exercise rider Jenny Johnson had this to say about the morning’s exercise: “She likes it here; she certainly is in a training mode.”

Polanco expects Island Fashion, owned by Everest Stables, to follow her usual routine and run fairly close to the pace. “I think she’ll like the big turns here, because she’s a long-striding mare.”

The trainer said she has been schooling in the paddock each day and will continue to do that.

 

Nothing But Fun – If trainer Mike Hushion wins Saturday, he joked after galloping his 3yo filly 1 ½ miles on the Belmont training track Thursday, it will be “Nothing But Fun.”

            The daughter of Dixie Union was a $150,000 purchase at the Keeneland September yearling sale, picked out by Buzz Chase for owner Barry K. Schwartz. It was with these kind of races that she was selected, Hushion said. “It’s a lot of money. It’s what you’re hoping for.”

            When someone noted that other horses go in that sale for seven figures, he said, “It gets a little silly up there. But we’ve got plenty we’ve swung and missed with, too.”

 

Pleasant Home – Trainer Shug McGaughey’s charge will try to win him a third career Distaff victory to go along with Personal Ensign and Inside Information. She spent her first morning with the Phipps Stables’ main string at Belmont after shipping from Saratoga Wednesday and jogged over the main track.

            McGaughey has saddled 12 Distaff runners and with the exception of Atelier in 2001, most have been well backed at the windows. Pleasant Home is 20-1 in the morning line Saturday despite finishing second in consecutive Grade 1 races in her last two starts.

            “I think she’s just a filly that has been under the radar,” said McGaughey. “She won at Gulfstream then came back north and won the Bed o’ Roses. That’s not a race that gets a lot of headlines. Then she finished second in the Ballerina, but that’s on the day after the Travers, so the bloom is pretty much off the Saratoga rose (meet) at that point. Then she finished second in the Spinster at Keeneland, but the race everyone looks at that weekend is the Beldame.”

            Pleasant Home’s run in the Spinster was an off-the-pace attempt around two turns over a track that traditionally favors front-runners. It’s one of several factors leading McGaughey to expect a solid performance Saturday.

            “She’s going to be a big price,” he said. “But she’s coming back here to a one-turn race and she made up a lot of ground at Keeneland. She made one of the best come-from-behind runs of anybody there this year. I think she’s going to run much better than her price.”

 

Society Selection – Society Selection was schooled in the starting gate Thursday morning before galloping 1½ miles on the Belmont Park main track in preparation for the Distaff.

            Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens will saddle the Grade 1-winning 4yo filly for her third attempt at Breeders’ Cup success. Society Selection finished 10th in 2003 Juvenile Fillies and ninth in the 2004 Distaff.

 

 

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Stellar Jayne – Godolphin Racing’s Stellar Jayne galloped 1 3/8 mi. on the training track at 6 a.m. Thursday as she prepares for the Distaff. Assistant trainer Rick Mettee said she would school in the paddock during racing today.

            “Both our fillies (Sundrop in the Filly & Mare Turf) are running in big fields so we have to get a bit lucky,” he said.

            Stellar Jayne hasn’t won on an off track but has finished second twice in Grade I races on off tracks. Mettee foresees a fast track for Saturday.

 

Sweet Symphony – The 3-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy, who didn’t break her maiden until making her career debut on May 12, will seek to rebound from her fourth-place finish in the Beldame, which was also her only loss after four straight wins.

            The Alabama Stakes winner, who galloped 1¼ miles on the main track Thursday morning in preparation for the Distaff, has accomplished a lot in a very short time.

            “Two of my Breeders’ Cup horses were maidens at the beginning of the year, so you’d think they’d go on to have good years next year if we don’t do too much with them this year,” said trainer Bill Mott, also referring to his Filly & Mare Turf entrant, Wend.

 

Yolanda B. Too – West Point Stable’s Yolanda B. Too galloped Thursday morning at Aqueduct under exercise rider Rodney Payne.

“Everything is good this morning,” said trainer Rick Violette, who plans to have Yolanda B. Too gallop Friday morning at Aqueduct before vanning to Belmont Park.

With only five career starts, Yolanda B. Too is one of the least experienced starters in the Distaff and Violette knows it is a big step.

“It is a quantum leap for her for sure and she may need to sprout wings,” Violette said with a laugh. “But she has stepped up every time. Her race in the Cotillion was huge considering she was wide on both turns, got hit in the face by a whip and was spotting the winner weight.”

Eibar Coa has the call on Yolanda B. Too, who will exit post position five.

 
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jrstark
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2005, 11:15:36 PM »

Friday, October 28, 2005                        Contact: Breeders’ Cup Notes Team (516) 328-6017


EMIRATES AIRLINE BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF NOTES

Ashado – Home-field advantage is vital in several sports, but for the defending champion in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Distaff getting the chance to shoot for back-to-back wins at Belmont is like luring her rivals into her lair.

            “She always fires at Belmont and obviously has an affinity for this surface,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “Not that she hasn’t run well elsewhere, but her record is quite good here.”

            While proximity to the fans or altitude might make some playing fields better for the home team, for Ashado, Pletcher thinks it’s a simple matter of geometry and layout at Belmont where she’s 4-for-6.

“I think some horses can adapt the one-turn longer races like (they have here at) a mile-and-a-sixteenth and a mile-and-an-eighth,” he said. “while some others will run better at two turns in longer races. She just happens to do well in both situations.”

            Ashado is one of four runners scheduled to defend their Breeders’ Cup titles on Saturday – the most since the same number of previous winners lined up at Santa Anita in 1993. Those four all hit the board in their attempts with Lure winning the Mile for the second time and Paseana (ARG) finishing second in the Distaff.

 

Capeside Lady – While her favored stable mate Ashado has captured the majority of her 12 wins at Belmont Park, the longer shot of Todd Pletcher’s two Distaff challengers has some obstacles to overcome taking on the defending champ and the other 11 rivals in the race.

            “My biggest concern with her is that I think unlike Ashado, who’s equally adaptable to two turns versus one-turn, I felt like Capeside Lady’s best races have been around two turns and specifically at Monmouth,” said Pletcher. “But she’s in good form and she ran a very good race in the Spinster. On a given day she’s capable of running good with these fillies and you only get one crack at it.”

            Capeside Lady’s last four wins all came at Monmouth Park in New Jersey around two turns, including the Molly Pitcher Breeders’ Cup in July. While she won’t get the same race layout as the Jersey Shore racetrack, she will get to team with her Jersey-based jockey Saturday as Chris DeCarlo gets his first chance to ride in the Breeders’ Cup.

            “Chris has done a great job for us all year,” said Pletcher, who gives DeCarlo first-call on his horses in New Jersey and is right behind John Velazquez on the stable’s depth chart. “He has ridden this filly particularly well and it’s good that he’s getting an opportunity to ride in a Breeders’ Cup race.”

 

Happy Ticket – All the connections of Happy Ticket were at her Belmont barn Friday morning: the trainer, owner, even the man responsible for her name – all flying in from Louisiana and Mississippi to watch her run in the Distaff.

            Since Happy Ticket worked 4f here on Wednesday, she walked the shedrow Friday morning and seemed to appreciate her visitors who came bearing peppermint candy.

Her owner and breeder, Stewart Madison, is the Director of Business Affairs for Malaco Music Group, a Mississippi-based producer of gospel music.  He brought with him his longtime friend Paul Case, who over the years has taken delight in passing out winning mutuel tickets by the dozen to strangers at the racetrack.

“Paul buys 20 $2 tickets at a time and then passes them out (the winning ones) to people who look like they need it,” explained Madison.  “If he sees someone who looks kind of down, he’ll walk up to him and say, ‘Here’s your happy ticket.’  People don’t know how much the tickets are worth until they cash them.”

Madison, born in Shreveport, La., is proud of his Louisiana-bred filly and wants her to continue racing after the Breeders’ Cup is complete.

“This is what you’re in it (the horse business) for, the fun,” said Madison.  “As long as she stays sound, we’ll run her next year.”

 

 

            Happy Ticket is trainer Andrew Leggio, Jr.’s first Breeders’ Cup starter.  He started in the business at age 15 cleaning stalls and galloping horses at Fair Grounds.   He says it was another 20 years before he started training. At age 71, he has 35 years training experience.

            “She’s got a great chance to win this race,” said Leggio of his first Grade I winner.  “We just need a good trip and a lot of luck.”

 

Healthy Addiction – Trainer John Sadler, a veteran of five Breeders’ Cup starts, knows that all runners need to take a step up when contesting a world championship race, so he’s hopeful that his 4yo Boston Harbor filly is up to the task.

Because her history has been to need time to settle in, Sadler brought her to Belmont Park on Oct. 19, and he says the program has paid off. She is comfortable with her surroundings and she has taken to the track, the trainer said.

“We’re happy with the way things have developed,” he said. “She’s training really well, but she’ll have to take a step up. We hope she’s good enough. We got a good draw, with Ashado and Stellar Jayne on our inside. I expect her to be stalking early; not far back.”

The filly, owned by Pamela Ziebarth, stood in the gate and galloped 1 ½ miles Friday morning. She was scheduled to be schooled in the paddock in the first race on Friday afternoon.

 

Hollywood Story – The 4yo filly jogged six furlongs and galloped once around the main track under exercise rider Michelle Jensen Friday for the Distaff.

“She’s doing good, but you never know until they race over it,” said trainer John Shirreffs of her first start at Belmont. Shirreffs added that Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, sidelined since his last race in the Belmont Stakes, has returned to training at Hollywood Park and “is about ready to work again.”

 

In the Gold – A 1 ½-mile gallop over the training track under the watchful eye of trainer Nick Zito was on the menu for the 3yo Golden Missile filly owned by Live Oak Plantation.

Zito is hopeful the filly will be able to reprise her victory in Belmont Park’s Gazelle Stakes as she goes to the post in Saturday’s Distaff. He expects her to take her usual stalking position and then open up down the stretch under Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens, who was in the irons for the Gazelle win and an earlier third-place finish in Saratoga’s Test Stakes.

 

Island Fashion – The roan/gray $1.9-million earner schooled in the gate and galloped 1 ¼ miles on the main track Friday morning as she moved a day closer to her start in the Distaff.

Trainer Marcelo Polanco is hoping for a better result this year than last, when the 5yo daughter of Petionville finished fifth in the Distaff as she tracked the pacesetters before fading against the onrushing Ashado, who returns to defend her title.

As for strategy, Polanco said, “I hope [jockey Raphael] Bejarano will get her to break well and see if he can stay fairly close to the pace and then save something for the end. That’s what I’m going to tell him.

“She can lay anywhere she wants to in the race. Sometimes a rider makes his move a little too soon. I’m going to make sure Bejarano knows to save something for the late run.”

 

Nothing But Fun – The 3yo filly galloped 1 ½ miles on the training track Friday, and trainer Mike Hushion said a lot has to go right for her to win the Distaff.

            “She’s got to put it all together at once. She hasn’t done that yet,” he said.

            “She’s had a lot of lessons. She broke bad in one race. She had a race picking her way through the field. In the last race, she never got to settle. She’s learned to take dirt.

            “She’s got to settle tomorrow. She has to put it all together. She’s got to settle in and get a nice cadence.”

 

Pleasant Home – Trainer Shug McGaughey declared “we’re ready” after sending his Phipps Stable homebred for some easy jogging and galloping Friday on the morning before he shoots for his third career victory in the Distaff.

            McGaughey has started 12 fillies or mares in the Distaff with two wins coming with Personal Ensign in 1988 and Inside Information in 1995. He’s finished on the board with 11 of those 12 runners with Queena his worst result in 1991 when she finished fifth.

 

 

Society Selection – Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens sent Society Selection to the Belmont main track Friday morning for an open gallop from the 3/8ths pole to the wire in preparation for the Distaff.

            Jerkens has come up empty with eight Breeders’ Cup starters, including Society Selection’s 10th-place finish in the 2003 Juvenile Fillies and ninth-place finish in the 2004 Distaff.

            “Naturally, we’d like to be able to win one, but you can’t dwell on it,” Jerkens said. “We’ll just go over there (Saturday) and see what happens.”

            Edgar Prado will ride Society Selection for the first time since they teamed up to capture the 2004 Test Stakes at Saratoga.

 

Stellar Jayne — For the second consecutive morning, Stellar Jayne galloped 1 3/8 mi. on the training track at 6 a.m. Friday with Godolphin head trainer Saeed bin Suroor and assistant Rick Mettee overseeing the exercise. Afterwards, Mettee assessed the competition for the 4yo, who has been installed the 5-1 second choice for the Distaff.

            “For this race you’re looking at the first two that came out of the Beldame (Ashado and Happy Ticket), and Ashado is always the one to beat,” Mettee said. “Then there’s Society Selection from the rail, and the three-year-old filly, Sweet Symphony.

“If she can improve off her fourth in her last race, she could be tough. It looked like she was dead at the quarter pole, but she got to running down the lane which showed me she’s a pretty tough filly.”

 

Sweet Symphony – The 3yo daughter of A.P. Indy enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of her division by winning the Alabama Stakes in only her fourth lifetime start and keep her career record perfect. The Bill Mott-trained filly followed her Grade 1 victory at Saratoga with a dull fourth in the Beldame in her most recent start.

            “Maybe the Alabama took something out of her,” said Mott, who hasn’t be able to come up with any other excuse for the sub-par showing.

            Sweet Symphony, who will be ridden by Jerry Bailey in the Distaff, galloped 1-1/4 miles over the main track Friday morning.

“She looks good, feels good and she moved really well this morning,” Mott reported..

 

Yolanda B. Too – West Point Stable’s Yolanda B. Too galloped a mile and half under exercise rider Rodney Payne early Friday morning at Aqueduct and then vanned to Belmont Park where she was bedded down prior to a noon schooling session in the paddock.

            Trainer Richard Violette was asked what he would like to see from the 3yo daughter of Two Punch, who will be ridden by Eibar Coa.

            “She needs to get the perfect trip and step up for us,” Violette said, “and maybe have a couple of them not fire their best shot.”

 
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2013

Breeders' Cup
Hawthorne Gold Cup
Arlington Million
Triple Crown
Illinois Derby

2012

Breeders' Cup
Hawthorne Gold Cup
Arlington Million
Triple Crown
Illinois Derby

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