07/20/2005 12:00AM

For All We Know skips a few rungs

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer John Ward is taking a somewhat unconventional approach with For All We Know in Saturday's $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.

For All We Know is undefeated in three starts, but has never raced in a stakes or beyond a mile. The Coaching Club American Oaks is a Grade 1 at 1 1/4 miles.

Ward said it's "a strange way" to introduce For All We Know to stakes company.

"But there is a reason for this craziness," Ward said Wednesday by phone from Arlington Park. "I wanted to keep her out of the serious fray until now. I'm looking at three Grade 1's with a fresh and lightly raced animal. I would like to use Saturday's race to build to the Alabama."

The Grade 1 Alabama at 1 1/4 miles, the marquee race for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga, will be run on Aug. 20. After the Alabama, Ward said he would consider more Grade 1 options for For All We Know, including the Gazelle at Belmont's fall meet.

For All We Know, a daughter of Stephen Got Even who is owned by John Oxley, won her debut by a neck over next-out winner Talented in a maiden race at Gulfstream Park on March 21. For All We Know followed with two more wins by comfortable margins, first at Keeneland and then at Arlington Park.

"She's a very nice commodity and has run consistently in each of her starts," Ward said. "She hooked a nice horse in her first start, and that race was like a Grade 1 race for first efforts."

Arlington's leading rider, Shaun Bridgmohan, was aboard For All We Know in her last start and has the mount Saturday.

Other likely starters for the Coaching Club American Oaks are Smuggler, Spun Sugar, and Summerly, the top three finishers from the Grade 1 Mother Goose, and Atlas Valley and Pleasant Chimes. Bayou Breeze and Capitulation are possible starters.

Dr. Pleasure to debut at Saratoga

Ward, who as usual will have a string of horses at Saratoga, is very high on an unraced 2-year-old colt who is the first foal out of Beautiful Pleasure. Ward trained Beautiful Pleasure, a multiple Grade 1 winner and the champion older female in 1999. The colt, a son of 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch, is named Dr. Pleasure.

"He is the spitting image of his mother and a total pro," said Ward, who indicated that Dr. Pleasure would run during the Saratoga meet.

Ashado goes six furlongs in company

Last year's champion 3-year-old filly, Ashado, worked at Belmont on Wednesday in preparation for the Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap at Saratoga on July 31.

Ashado, with Angel Cordero Jr. aboard, worked on the main track after the renovation break in the company of stablemate Confederation, an allowance runner. Confederation broke in front of Ashado, who overtook her workmate to finish six furlongs in a bullet 1:13.26. Confederation covered the distance in 1:14.97.

Todd Pletcher, Ashado's trainer, said he doesn't always work Ashado in company, but wanted to get a "solid piece of work into her."

In her last start, Ashado won the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps here on June 18.

Pletcher also nominated Isola Piu Bella to the Go for Wand, but will await the Grade 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga on Aug. 26.

Isola Piu Bella finished eighth, beaten 17 1/4 lengths, as the favorite in Sunday's $1 million Delaware Handicap.

"She didn't behave well in the paddock and then reared in the gate," Pletcher said. "She had a bad day, but came back fine."

Pletcher confirmed that English Channel, who won the Virginia Derby on Saturday at Colonial Downs, will run next in the Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington on Aug. 13. By winning the Virginia Derby and the Colonial Turf Cup on June 25, English Channel is halfway to winning $5 million in purse and bonus money. If English Channel wins the second half of the Jacobs Investments Grand Slam of Grass, the Secretariat and the Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont in October, his owner, James Scatuorchio, will receive the bonus.

"It's a tall order, but he is halfway there," Pletcher said.

Back injury sidelines Hill

Apprentice Channing Hill, who took off his mounts on Wednesday, will be out of action for at least a couple of weeks with a back injury. Hill injured his back on Sunday when a horse flipped in the gate. With 28 wins, Hill ends the Belmont meet as the leading apprentice, and would have been favored to lead what is expected to be a small apprentice colony at Saratoga.

Drew Mollica, Hill's agent, said the rider will return to his home in Nebraska to begin therapy. Mollica said Hill had been suffering discomfort in his back before he was thrown from his mount in the gate in the last race on Sunday.