Ship­pers bring top cre­den­tials

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Brad Free

ARCADIA, Calif. – Ad­van­tage, home team. Seven fil­lies and mares from Cal­i­for­nia and three from Kentucky and New York are among a pro­jected field of 10 for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 3 at Del Mar.

Though they are out­num­bered, the ship­pers will ar­rive with fit­ting cre­den­tials – Ro­man­tic Vi­sion, For­ever Un­bri­dled, and Elate all won Grade 1’s last out.

Kentucky-based trainer Rusty Arnold con­firmed this week that Ro­man­tic Vi­sion will make the fi­nal start of her ca­reer in the Distaff af­ter run­ning the best race of her ca­reer on Sun­day, win­ning the Spin­ster Stakes over a sloppy track at Keeneland.

Ro­man­tic Vi­sion joins Kentucky-based For­ever Un­bri­dled, the mul­ti­ple Grade 1 win­ner with seven wins on seven tracks. She worked six fur­longs in 1:14.20, breez­ing, Tues­day at Churchill Downs for trainer Dal­las Ste­wart. For­ever Un­bri­dled ships on Oct. 30.

Elate, based in New York with five-time Distaff-win­ning trainer Bill Mott, won her last two starts by open lengths – the Alabama and Bel­dame. Elate is one of six 3-year-olds aim­ing to the Distaff, along with Cal­i­for­nia-based Abel Tas­man, It Tiz Well, Par­adise Woods, Cham­pagne Room, and Mopo­tism.

Stel­lar Wind, early fa­vorite for the Distaff, will have a gap in pub­lished works, but the 5-yearold’s train­ing was not in­ter­rupted. She worked six fur­longs Sun­day at 6:30 a.m. in fog so thick the work was un­seen. Trainer John Sadler con­sid­ered post­pon­ing the work, but forged ahead with ex­er­cise rider Jose Con­tr­eras in the irons.

“If I did not have that rider, I don’t know that I would have worked her,” Sadler said. “He has a stop­watch on his wrist, so he’s re­ally good with the times. I said go 1:14 and change. She went in 1:14.”

The Santa Anita main track pro­duces slow times. How did Stel­lar Wind look? “We were at the wire, and saw her out­work­ing her com­pany by two or three lengths,” Sadler said. “Re­gard­less of the time, she looked good at the wire.”

Abel Tas­man, the Kentucky Oaks win­ner, drilled a half-mile in 48.60 sec­onds on Mon­day as trainer Bob Baf­fert works on putting her weight back on.

“Like a lot of horses at Del Mar, she got a lit­tle light on me,” Baf­fert said, not­ing that the filly was light when shipped to Parx for the Grade 1 Cotil­lion last month.

Abel Tas­man ran off mid-race in the Cotil­lion and fin­ished sec­ond be­hind It Tiz Well.

The Distaff had a key de­fec­tion last week. Vale Dori, a Grade 1 win­ner and run­ner-up twice by a neck to Stel­lar Wind, will skip the BC and aim for a win­ter cam­paign.

Trainer Doug O’Neill con­firmed this week the stakes win­ner Mopo­tism will tar­get the Distaff. She fin­ished fourth in the Cotil­lion last out.

Prob­a­ble starters for the Distaff, in or­der of pre­lim­i­nary odds: Stel­lar Wind, Vic­tor Espinoza; For­ever Un­bri­dled, Joel Rosario; Elate, Jose Or­tiz; Abel Tas­man, Mike Smith; It Tiz Well, Dray­den Van Dyke; Par­adise Woods, Flavien Prat; Cham­pagne Room, Mario Gu­tier­rez; Ro­man­tic Vi­sion, Brian Her­nan­dez; Faith­fully, Rafael Be­jarano; and Mopo­tism, who was rid­den by Gu­tier­rez last out.

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