10/13/2010 3:51PM

Acoma may get to make one more start


The Spinster Stakes on Sunday at Keeneland was a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs, and, as of Wednesday, there was a chance the connections of Acoma were going to utilize that berth for an encore race for a mare whose racing career might have concluded had she lost on Sunday.

“It’s possible,” David Carroll, who trains Acoma for Helen Groves and Helen Alexander, said on Wednesday morning from his base at Churchill Downs. “If she runs there, she wouldn’t run anymore. If the race was at Santa Anita, we probably wouldn’t be thinking of it. But it’s at Churchill Downs, which is home, and where she’s had so much success. And she came out of the race great.”

Acoma gave Carroll his first win in a Grade  1 race, and the glow had yet to wear off by Wednesday. “We’re still on Cloud 9,” he said.

If Acoma runs, it would put Carroll in a head-to-head match with his former boss, trainer Shug McGaughey, who trains Persistently. While working for McGaughey, Carroll was the exercise rider of, among others, Easy Goer.

he Ladies’ Classic has a maximum of 14 starters, but it appears that no more than 10 or 11 will run in the race. Division leader Zenyatta, who won this race in 2008, is going to defend her Breeders’ Cup Classic title against males on Nov. 6. Rachel Alexandra has been retired. And, this past week, Devil May Care was taken out of training because of illness, her racing future very much in doubt.

Even without Devil May Care, trainer Todd Pletcher still will be represented by two runners, Life At Ten and Malibu Prayer. Pletcher said both are scheduled to travel from New York to Kentucky about 1 1/2 weeks before the Ladies’ Classic, affording them time to have their final workout at Churchill Downs.