Thursday Distaff Notes: Sellers Confident About Heritage of Gold

Edited From Breeder' Cup Notes Team Notes

Beautiful Pleasure -- John Oxley's Beautiful Pleasure had a day off from the racetrack Thursday morning as she walked the shedrow. Assistant trainer Donna Ward said the defending Breeders' Cup Distaff champion would return to the track Friday in preparation for his final career start in the Distaff.

Beautiful Pleasure has won 10 of 20 starts in a career that has spanned four seasons. Ward was asked if she was surprised that Beautiful Pleasure had accomplished so much, particularly in 1999 and 2000 when she has been first or second in 11 of 13 starts.

"No, not really," Ward said. "In her 3-year-old year when I first started riding her, I really didn't know because I didn't know how we were going to get along.

"But I asked them not to breed her. I ran her here at Churchill against older fillies (in the Churchill Downs Distaff in 1998) at the end of her 3-year-old year to say either she can do it, or she can't. Once she did it, I laid out her plans for last year in February and gave them to Johnny (trainer John Ward) and Jack (Oxley) and they said go to it if you think you can do all that. She keeps amazing me with how much talent she has."

Crimplene -- Trainer Clive Brittain didn't send his Distaff hope Crimplene to the starting gate Thursday morning as planned. "The starter thought there was no point going through it again, so we took her to the paddock instead," he said. "She cantered one mile."

"Frankie (Dettori) had her in behind in her work yesterday (6 fur. in 1:13) so she faced the kickback for three furlongs before he took her out. Her draw (2) is fine. The two favorites are on the outside so they will have to come across."

Heritage of Gold -- Jack Garey's Heritage of Gold, who drew the rail and was installed at odds of 10-to-1 for the Breeders' Cup Distaff, continued her preparations for the race with a 1 1/2 mile gallop on Thursday. The 5-year-old Gold Legend mare also schooled in the paddock for the second day in a row.

"She's doing very well," trainer Tom Amoss said. "We didn't draw the post I wanted, but she'll be all right."

Jockey Shane Sellers, who has been aboard Heritage of Gold for her last 11 starts, was also not concerned with the post position.

"The one hole is not a problem," Sellers said. "Of all the races I have ridden her in, her best races have been at this track. That's a plus for us. We're competing in our backyard.

"Her last two races may have been a blessing in disquise. There's no pressure on us at this point. She was spinning her wheels at Keeneland (in the Spinster Stakes). She's training great. She has always trained great. What's encouraging is she still looks great and she's come back from her works bucking and feeling good."

Jostle -- Trainer John Servis sends out his first Breeders' Cup starter in the Distaff with 3-year-old filly Jostle. The daughter of 1993 Juvenile winner Brocco jogged this morning. Servis said the filly has calmed down substantially after being rather jumpy early in the week.

Jostle is the best horse trained by Servis, a native of West Virginia, so far in his career, which began in 1984 at Philadelphia Park. The filly has won her last three starts, including the Cotillion at Philadelphia Park, all with jockey Mike Smith. Smith has had plenty of Breeders' Cup experience having ridden in 39 events over the years. He has ridden eight winners of the Breeders' Cup, including two winners of the Distaff. This is his only mount in this year's Breeders' Cup.

Lu Ravi -- Fujita Yoshio's Lu Ravi was on the track before 6:00 to gallop 1 3/8 miles under Joe Deegan as she continued to prepare for the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Jerry Bailey will ride Saturday.

Lu Ravi is trained by Carl Bowman and housed in Barn 24, a bit off the beaten path of the majority of the Breeders' Cup entrants.

"I requested this barn because it is quiet and close to plenty of grazing area," said Bowman, who never has saddled a Breeders' Cup starter.

Lu Ravi has won one of five starts at Churchill Downs in her career, but has not raced here since June 1999. In that time, more clay has been added to the track, a fact Bowman feels will help Lu Ravi on Saturday.

"This track has been traditionally a cuppy racetrack, especially in the fall and after the break," Bowman said. "What clay does is tighten the racetrack. It makes it firmer for the soil, it adheres better and it doesn't break away from horses. She prefers that kind of racetrack. She likes a racetrack where she can skip over it. When she hits the ground, her hoof will grab the dirt and she will go on. If it breaks away from her, she is not comfortable on it."

Riboletta -- The 5-year-old mare galloped about 1 3/8 miles Thursday morning under exercise rider Jose Cuevas. Established as the shortest-priced morning-line favorite on the card at 4-5, Riboletta seeks to become the first Distaff favorite to win since the entry of Inside Information and Heavenly Prize finished one-two in 1995.

Eduardo Inda, who has trained the Brazilian import to graded stakes victories in her last six starts, sent out his only previous Breeders' Cup starter in the same race. Borodislew, a 12-1 longshot, finished eighth after being unable to handle a muddy Belmont surface.

Inda said post eight should pose no problems. "It's a nine-horse field and the speed is on the outside, so the eight is okay," said Inda, in reference to defending champion and second choice Beautiful Pleasure, who is stabled at the other end of Barn 39.

Spain and Surfside -- Trainer D. Wayne Lukas' two Breeders' Cup Distaff hopefuls, Spain and Surfside, galloped Thursday morning. Victor Espinoza will ride Spain and break from post position four and Pat Day will ride Surfside and exit post position six.

Day was asked his prospects on Surfside, whose Distaff start will be her second off a six-month layoff.

"I was a little disappointed in my ride on her the last time," Day said of the seven-furlong Raven Run at Keeneland on Oct. 11. "I think I rode the racetrack instead of my filly.

"I was concerned about Roxelana getting away from me. I drew inside, and when the doors opened I put her in the race and had to keep pushing on her all the way. We went very quick -- 21, 43, 1:08 and change -- then came home running and we flattened out late. I just never gave her a chance.

"I was hoping a hard race like that coming off a layoff wouldn't drive her out of the feed tub and set her back and it hasn't. She has moved forward off that. She has trained brilliantly here at Churchill Downs. She looks great, really filled out and matured this summer. It is a big step from seven-eighths to a mile and a eighth against that kind of competition, but we are optimistic she is going to give us a good effort. We know she is a quality filly."

Speaking of Time -- The 4-year-old filly galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Bob Geanotte Thursday. "She's feeling good," said trainer Barry Abrams, who has announced the filly is for sale. "We've had five inquiries," said Abrams, who plans to send her to the November Mixed Sale Monday at Keeneland if she is not sold privately before.