Grade 1-winning distaffers Raging Fever and Carson Hollow meet for the first time Saturday in the $150,000 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct.
Edward Evans' homebred Raging Fever will be making her first start since a disappointing third-place finish in the Oct. 26 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) and will be going for back-to-back victories in the Distaff. The 5-year-old daughter of Storm Cat won last year's edition of the seven-furlong contest by 3 3/4 lengths. She also won three other graded stakes wins in 2002 -- the First Lady Handicap (gr. III),Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III), and the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I).
In three seasons of racing for trainer Mark Hennig, Raging Fever has won 10 of 19 career starts and earned $1,281,865.
Carson Hollow finished second to Xtra Heat last time out in the Feb. 22 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) at Laurel Park while making her seasonal debut. The 4-year-old daughter of Carson City earned Grade 1-winning status last year with a victory in the Prioress Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Owned by Stronach Stables and Hemlock Hills Farm, Carson Hollow closed out the 2002 campaign with a fourth-place finish in the NAPA Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). She has won five of eight career starts with two seconds for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. and has earned $375,370.
The field for Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Distaff Breeders' Cup:
1. Raging Fever, Mark Hennig, Aaron Gryder, 118
2. A. P. Andie, Jason Servis, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 113
3. Bonefide Reason, Mitch Friedman, Javier Castellano, 111
4. Carson Hollow, Richard Dutrow Jr., Mike Luzzi, 120
5. Saskya, Tom Bush, Shaun Bridgmohan, 112
6. Outstanding Info, Frank Generazio Jr., Jose Caraballo, 112