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EMIRATES AIRLINE BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF NOTES


October 25, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

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 _ 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.

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.”