The Beldame, a $750,000 weight-for-age race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, will be run at 1 1/8 miles, over the same distance and surface as this year's Distaff.Ward likely will send out Oxley's Vivid Sunset in Keeneland's Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I) on Oct. 7. Ward said he wanted to keep his distaff stars separated for now and noted Vivid Sunset is undefeated over the Keeneland strip.
John Oxley's Beautiful Pleasure worked six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 Tuesday morning at Keeneland and will likely use the Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Oct. 6 as her final prep for the World Thoroughbred Championships."At the present time, I think we'll run her back in New York," trainer John Ward Jr. said Wednesday afternoon. "There is a plane going to New York on Tuesday that looks good and we hope it will work out."Beautiful Pleasure won an Eclipse Award in 1999 as the champion older female after winning that year's Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park. She has been back at Ward's stable in Kentucky since running second to Pompeii in the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga. In her title run in '99, the Florida-bred daughter of Maudlin -- Beautiful Bid, by Baldski, won the Beldame by 4 1/2 lengths. She finished second to last year's older filly champion Riboletta in the '00 Beldame.