When Heiligbrodt Stable's Caught in the Rain ran fourth in the Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) last month, she was facing tougher horses and running around one turn. On Saturday, she will face a softer cast and two turns on Aqueduct's inner dirt track in the 134th running of the $100,000 Ladies Handicap (gr. III) going 1 1/4 miles.
All six of Caught in the Rain's career victories have been around two turns with four of those tallies coming on turf. While both dirt wins have come against lesser rivals at Philadelphia Park-a maiden race and the off-the-turf Mrs. Penny for Pennsylvania-bred fillies-the 4-year-old proved she belongs in graded stakes company with a deceptively good finish in the Top Flight.
Usually within five lengths of the lead, Caught in the Rain fell back 10 lengths at the start, which left her with too much to do against 11 rivals. She passed six horses in the Top Flight and outran her 50-1 odds, finishing 5 1/2 lengths behind winner Randaroo.
"The Top Flight was a tough race," said trainer Guadalupe Preciado, who saddled the filly to a victory in the Athenia Handicap on turf earlier this meet. "It didn't set up great for her and I think two turns is more her game."
Although Preciado knows his filly will like two turns better, he still has a couple of question marks regarding Caught in the Rain on Saturday.
"We'll see if she can go a mile and a quarter," said Preciado, whose trainee is 1-for-2 at 1 1/8 miles. "She ran well on the main track, but some horses just don't like the inner track."
"Buzz" Tenney, assistant to trainer "Shug" McGaughey will have a pair of fillies to saddle in the Ladies with Stuart Janney's Lady Liberty and G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Retroactive. Both will be trying for their first stakes wins.
"I think both fillies deserve a chance in there," said Tenney. "Lady Liberty is a filly that we've always thought would like more distance. Retroactive is a big, strong filly who should continue getting better as she gets older."
Call an Audible makes only her second start since July. The Cozzene filly that usually comes home with a check last ran on Sept. 19, finishing second behind Pocus Hocus in a third-level allowance at Belmont. The Mark Hennig trainee will be joined in the starting gate by stablemate Consort Music, whose two wins this year came down at Monmouth.
The field for Saturday's $100,000 Ladies Handicap (gr. IIII) includes:
1-- Queen's Triomphe (Jose Espinoza, 113)
2-- Consort Music (Julian Pimentel, 113)
3--Retroactive (Javier Castellano, 113)
4-- Caught in the Rain (Victor Molina, 113)
5-- Sabre of Silver (Pablo Fragoso, 113)
6--Lady Liberty (Norberto Arroyo Jr., 114)
7--Kabylia (Heberto Castillo Jr., 113)
8-- Savedbythelight (Richard Migliore, 113)
9 Call an Audible (Aaron Gryder, 114)
10-- City Fire (Mike Luzzi, 114)
11--Julie's Prize (Shaun Bridgmohan, 113)