12/22/2004 12:00AM

Adobe Gold getting in gear for '05

Jim Lisa
Adobe Gold, with Eddie Castro riding, wins the Mia's Hope in August, one of three consecutive stakes victories for the filly. In the seven-furlong Silver Bells, she will be prepping for the 1 1/8-mile Banshee Breeze at Gulfstream next month.

MIAMI - Adobe Gold was the undisputed leader of the 3-year-old filly division at Calder this season, but even trainer Marty Wolfson is not sure what to expect when Adobe Gold concludes her campaign when she faces older horses in Friday's $40,000 Silver Bells Stakes.

"She hasn't run in two months, and I really can't say whether she might need a race or not," said Wolfson. "This race is at seven furlongs, and she's obviously better around two turns than one, but she's not the type of filly who needs a lot of work to get fit."

Wolfson said that jockey Eddie Castro "loved the way she blew out for this race earlier in the week."

, a daughter of Touch Gold, moved to the top of her class with three consecutive stakes victories within a seven-week span during the summer. Wolfson then decided to give her a chance against graded stakes competition in the Indiana Oaks, but he never expected her to catch a field that included the likes of Daydreaming, Capeside Lady, and Stellar Jayne the eventual 1-2-3 finishers.

"She was overmatched in Indiana, and then I brought her back and ran her three weeks later in the Calder Oaks," said Wolfson, "and I think the combination of the trip and those two races knocked her out a bit.

"She looked like she lost some weight, so I decided to just turn her out for a month, then get her cranked up again for the winter at Gulfstream."

Wolfson said the Silver Bells will serve as a good prep for Adobe Gold's first start in 2005, the 1 1/8-mile Banshee Breeze Stakes at Gulfstream on Jan. 23. Her main objective this winter will be the Grade 2 Rampart on March 26.

The Silver Bells drew only six fillies and mares. Double Scoop, making her second start following a seven-month vacation, is the horse to beat. Trained by Rusty Arnold, Double Scoop is undefeated in three previous starts at seven furlongs and should take some catching under jockey Jorge Chavez.

Stay Forever retired to breeding shed

Wolfson confirmed the retirement of his multiple graded-stakes-winning mare Stay Forever, who will be bred to Mineshaft next season.

Stay Forever ended her campaign with a victory in Keeneland's Grade 2 WinStar Galaxy Stakes. She was pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, but Wolfson decided not to run her because of a minor physical problem.

"I could have gotten her ready to run once more in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf next month, but we decided it wasn't worth taking the risk," Wolfson explained. "This way she can be bred early during the season, probably sometime in February, to Mineshaft."

Stay Forever is owned by her breeder, the Santa Cruz Ranch.

Tight finish for training title

The battle for leading trainer honors during the Tropical at Calder meeting figures to go right down to closing day on Jan. 2. Through Wednesday, Dan Hurtak owned a 14-13 advantage over Angel Salinas, with perennial Calder summer training champion Bill White and Manny Tortora right on their heels with 12 winners apiece.

Eddie Plesa Jr., who won the Tropical title outright in 2003 and shared it the previous year with Luis Olivares, will have to get red-hot if he is going to defend those honors. He will enter the final 10 days of the session with only eight victories.

Hurtak is no stranger to winning training championships here, having captured the 2001 Tropical meeting along with three consecutive Calder titles from 1994 through 1996.

Formal Miss ends year with victory

Formal Miss added Wednesday's $40,000 Deauville Stakes to her impressive r?sum? when she rallied to catch pacesetter Our Exploit in the final strides for her fourth stakes victory of the season. The victory was the third in the last four starts for Formal Miss, who closes out the campaign with earnings of $364,000.

The Deauville lost some of its luster when seven of the original 13 entries were scratched, including the likely favorite, Where We Left Off.