Everyone knows Lost in the Fog is unbeaten in 10 starts and will be the favorite in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). And that Shakespeare has won all five of his races and will be one of the top choices in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Trainer Mike Hushion has an unbeaten horse too. She won't be one of the favorites, and, Hushion said she shouldn't be. He is trying to find out where Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) entrant Nothing But Fun fits with the top fillies and mares in training.
(There are also two juvenile colts and one juvenile filly that have not lost yet in their careers but since most 2-year-olds have only made a few starts, they are not included in this discussion.)
Nothing But Fun did not start as a 2-year-old but has won all four of her races this year at three for Hushion. She is owned by Barry Schwartz, the former president and chairman of the board of the New York Racing Association.
"She showed at two that she could be something special but she had puffy ankles and needed to mature and grow up," Hushion said.
Hushion arrived at the 2003 Keeneland September sale after the first day of the sale, not expecting that agent Buzz Chace would have purchased anything to that point for Schwartz.
"We didn't think we would buy anything the first couple of days but when I got there she had already been purchased," he said. And, did he like her right away? "I'm a sucker for black horses," he said.
The Dixie Union
filly, purchased for $150,000, made her first start May 21 at Belmont, breaking her maiden going six furlongs by 3 ¾ lengths. She then cleared her first allowance condition June 22, winning by 2 ¾ lengths at seven furlongs.
On Aug. 25, Hushion put Nothing But Fun into stakes competition and she notched her third victory. She won the six-furlong Victory Ride Stakes by 1 ½ lengths. He then sent her to Philadelphia Park for the Cotillion Handicap (gr. II). The 1 1/16-mile race was her first around two turns and she got tested for the first time, gutting out a nose win.
In her races, Nothing But Fun has stayed just behind the leaders and the made her move while sweeping around horses. But Hushion said she doesn't have to run that way.
"She has more speed than her past performances show," he said. "She won't be far out of it."
Hushion had to make a rider change for the Distaff. Richard Migliore, the only jock to rider her, broke his ankle. Alex Solis has the mount Saturday.
"I hate that for the Mig," Hushion said. "He has also been aboard for her last 10 works."
Hushion, 58, was a groom for Allen Jerkens for six years and then went out on his own with Jerkens' support. "He really helped me out," he said of Jerkens, who saddles Society Selection in the Distaff. Hushion has 37 horses stabled at Belmont, 20 of which are owned by Schwartz.
"It's the time of year where you have to run against older fillies and mares," Hushion said. "We will find out whether or not she belongs."
In the 21 previous Distaffs, the race has been won by a 3-year-old filly seven times: Sacahuista in 1987; Dance Smartly in 1991; Hollywood Wildcat in 1993; Ajina in 1997; Spain in 2000; Unbridled Elaine in 2001; and Ashado, who won last year and looks to repeat.