Distaff Notes: Heritage of Gold Breezes

Edited Notes from Breeders' Cup Notes Team
Beautiful Pleasure-John Oxley's defending Distaff champion Beautiful Pleasure galloped 1 1/2 miles after the renovation break with assistant trainer Donna Ward up. Jorge Chavez has the mount.

Trainer John Ward was asked about his confidence level this year as compared with 1999 at Gulfstream Park. "I think as each day goes by, I feel better and better about it," Ward said. "She is responding like she did at Gulfstream. She is getting better and sharper and more intense and doing everything that you are supposed to do going into this type of race.

"Everything is gauged backward three weeks (from her last race in the Beldame). So every day that goes by, your animal should improve, get sharper, brighter. If they don't and it takes you three days to recover from what normally takes one day to do, then you are over the top. That's why you watch very closely animals in their gallops, how they cool out, how bright they are, how cocky, all that kind of stuff, because a three-week time period is critical. You don't have any wasted days. Last year we had four weeks (between races)."

Crimplene-See European Report.

Heritage of Gold- Trainer Tom Amoss, who blames Heritage of Gold's recent losses on tough training, is hoping a change in strategy rebounds his mare in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. On Tuesday, Heritage of Gold had her second work over Churchill Down's turf course, breezing five furlongs in 1:06 2/5 under jockey Shane Sellers.

"With Heritage of Gold, you're looking at a completely different strategy than what we did before her last two races. When she came into this year and was preparing for her first graded stakes at Oaklawn Park (in the Apple Blossom), coincidentally we broke a horse off in front of her. She became very competitive and worked very well and she won the race. Off that coincidence, we decided to work her in company and give her good, strong works. If you look back at her form, all her works have been strong, blackletter works. Our opinion is that maybe that tough training has caught up with her. So, we decided to back off of her and that is why she is working on the grass."

Amoss said he would like to see the 5-year-old mare return to the form she showed in winning the Fleur De Lis Handicap by four lengths in the Distaff. "I'll take her race in the Fleur De Lis and challenge anyone to beat her," Amoss said. "Everybody likes Riboletta, but if we can get her back to that race, I'll take my chances with Riboletta."

Jostle- Breeders' Cup Distaff contender Jostle galloped 1 1/2 miles today under exercise rider Scott Lloyd, brother of jockey Jeff Lloyd who rides mostly in the northeast. Trainer John Servis was very happy after today's routine.

"Today was her best day yet," he said. "She was so relaxed and must have spent ten or twelve minutes afterwards just watching horses train. The last couple of days she's been bucking and playing and sometimes you don't know if it's just because she's feeling good or because she's cranky. Today I couldn't have asked for better and she's just handling the track very well," Servis said.

"Her attitude has been great, although when I came by at feed time yesterday, she had kicked off the screen door. Feeling good, I guess." Servis plans to work the filly a half-mile Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.

Lu Ravi- Fujita Yoshio's Lu Ravi was one of the first horses on the track Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs, galloping 1 1/4 miles under Joe Deegan.

Lu Ravi has competed in three Grade I races in her career with two seconds and a sixth in the one-turn Ruffian in her last start, but trainer Carl Bowman does not feel she is not a Grade I caliber mare.

"She has beaten a number of Grade I stakes winners -- Beautiful Pleasure, Tap to Music, Silverbulletday -- and I think her quality as a Grade I filly is just reinforced with some of the races she has run in. The Molly Pitcher and Delaware Handicaps (which Lu Ravi won) were not Grade Is, but at the time, three of the top six fillies in the country ran in both races. So I would say they were probably stronger than some of those races Beautiful Pleasure ran in. With the exception of her, you look at some of the other races those fillies were running in and although they were Grade Is, they were not very deep."

Riboletta- Owners Aaron and Marie Jones of Oregon and their daughter, Jody, visited the Brazilian-bred mare in her stable with trainer Eduardo Inda at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday before she went to the track 45 minutes later and jogged once around the wrong way under exercise rider Jose Cuevas.

"We're on cloud nine, of course," said Aaron Jones, 79, in reference to Riboletta's great year, including graded stakes victories in her last six starts. Jones supplemented the mare to the Distaff for $400,000.

"I didn't give any serious thought to running with the boys," said Jones of any inclination to enter in the Classic. "Maybe someday. But we've gotten accolades already for mare of the year. And we're getting a lot of calls for Horse of the Year. I'm just happy to be here and have a mare like her and have Eduardo training her." Jones, who bought Riboletta privately in Brazil two years ago, now also owns her mother and two full sisters.

Spain- The Thoroughbred Corporation's Spain, fourth in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Gulfstream, completed her major preparations for Saturday's Distaff with an open gallop through the stretch before the renovation break Tuesday. Victor Espinoza will have the mount Saturday on the Thunder Gulch filly. "She belongs," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. "(But to win) She would have to run her career best."

Speaking of Time- The 4-year-old filly will be on the auction block Monday at the November Mixed Breeding Stock Sale at Keeneland, trainer Barry Abrams said Tuesday. "She's the only horse in the Breeders' Cup going to sale," said Abrams. "Of course, if some owner wanted to buy her privately this week and run her Saturday in his silks, we're listening."

Speaking of Time jogged Tuesday morning under exercise rider Bob Geanotte after arriving from California the previous day. "I'm hoping for a lot of speed and a track that plays fair to closers," said Abrams. "I'm just trying to get a check. She was second to Riboletta in a Grade 1 (Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park in June). We're here based on that. She's a longshot, but she deserves to be here."

Speaking of Time, a 4-year-old daughter of 1992 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Gilded Time, was purchased by Abrams for $25,000 at the 1997 Keeneland September yearling sale. She has won six of 26 starts and earned $390,456. Her groom is Ramon "Red" Garcia.

Surfside- Overbrook Farm's Surfside, third in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, had an open gallop through the stretch before the renovation break Tuesday morning to complete her major work for Saturday's Distaff. Pat Day will ride.

Surfside returned to the races on Oct. 11 at Keeneland after a six-month layoff. She finished second in a seven-furlong stakes behind Darling My Darling.

"We needed a good effort that day, and we got everything we wanted out of that race," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. "I could not be more pleased. She has had two stellar works since that race, and I think she is one of the ones."

"She's a real long-bodied, rangy filly who was going through a developmental stage at that time, and I thought the heat affected her more than Cash Run (the Juvenile Fillies winner)," Lukas said. "She has matured, and the time off over the summer makes her dangerous. She is touting us pretty strong right now."

Tranquility Lake- See Filly & Mare Turf Report.