June 24, 2024

Distaff Diary

Last updated: 3/29/05 8:41 PM


MARCH 30, 2005

by Hunter T. Houlihan

This past weekend’s distaff racing was limited to only a pair of contests due
to the Easter Holiday on Sunday, but the ladies got right to it on Friday in the
nine-furlong Next Move H. (G3) at Aqueduct. As stated in the first installment
of the Distaff Diary, the Shug McGaughey-trained DAYDREAMING (A.P. Indy) was not
to be overlooked because of a poor showing in her seasonal bow in the Sabin H.
(G3). The bay validated that statement when she closed with a rush in the Next
Move, defeating the previously unbeaten SAINTLINESS (Holy Bull) by a length, and
could again be a force in her next showing.

Saturday’s $200,000 Rampart H. (G2) at Gulfstream Park appeared to be a
walkover for ISOLA PIU BELLA (Chi) (Rich Man’s Gold), who was sent off as the
3-5 favorite against a short five-horse field. But the Sabin winner and
four-time Group 1 winner in her native Chile, like the betting public, could not
have foreseen the dominating, wire-to-wire performance unleashed by the second
choice, D’WILDCAT SPEED (Forest Wildcat). The five-year-old William White
trainee threw her hat into the distaff ring when defeating the mighty Todd
Pletcher-trained Chilean by six lengths, and both mares now appear to be
divisional contenders.

The divisional leaders, on the other hand, have been training forwardly for
their next start. ASHADO (Saint Ballado) got a bullet six furlongs in 1:11 4/5
over the Palm Meadows Training track on March 13 and went five panels in 1:02
most recently in advance of a start in the April 9 Apple Blossom H. (G1) at
Oaklawn Park. Shirley Jones H. (G2) heroine MADCAP ESCAPADE (Hennessy) got a
bullet half-mile in :47 at Gulfstream Park on March 5 and went five furlongs in
1:01 on March 21 preparing for her next outing, possibly the April 15 Vinery
Madison S. (G3) at Keeneland. ISLAND FASHION (Petionville) has had two sub-1:00
five furlong drills since her try against the boys in the Santa Anita H. (G1)
and appears to be a top contender when she returns to female competition.

Some concerns of this author include SOCIETY SELECTION (Coronado’s Quest),
whose last published work, a bullet five furlong drill over the Gulfstream
strip, came just before her seventh-place finish in the Shirley Jones and leads
us to believe she may have injured herself in that contest. We’ll see how the
four-year-old fares in her next outing. STELLAR JAYNE (Wild Rush) was purchased
at the Keeneland November sale and has not been seen since. The gray is
reportedly returning to action later this year, but we’re running out of