10/28/2005 12:00AM

BC Distaff analysis


SOCIETY SELECTION is due for some luck. She was wide in the slow-pace Beldame, and trapped behind runners in the slow-paced Ruffian. She finished well each time, gets a beneficial (faster) pace scenario, and can win from behind. While possibly compromised by her inside post, the risk is compensated by higher odds. HEALTHY ADDICTION has blossomed this year, and she looms a potential upsetter after a gritty prep-race victory in which she earned a career-best pace figure. The presser will be overlooked in the betting, and on top of the leaders throughout. Wet going would be fine. Potential knockout. ASHADO wins if she runs her best race, but her inconsistency this year is reason for concern. HAPPY TICKET had some trouble in the Beldame, and has been first or second all 12 starts.

- Brad Free

Horses with early and tactical speed do best in the Distaff. HEALTHY ADDICTION has won three straight, including a front-running win with a faster-than-par pace figure last time at Santa Anita. HAPPY TICKET was getting to ASHADO in deep stretch, and missed by only a half-length. She will be dangerous if she continues on the upswing. Ashado does her best work on this track, with a 6-4-1-1 record. But she was all out to prevail vs. Happy Ticket here last time, and will be an underlaid contender. STELLAR JAYNE has the right running style, and won her last race here. The concern is that she has not raced in nearly seven weeks.

- Steve Klein

Either you're with ASHADO or you're against her. I'm against her. Consistency is not her strength. I can't shake the vision of her losing to Silmaril on Preakness eve, let alone the clunker Aug. 26, when she finished fourth, beaten 14 3/4 lengths, in the Personal Ensign. There are just too many good fillies lining up against her today to settle for something like 2-1. I have to believe SWEET SYMPHONY is far better than she showed when she was fourth in the Grade 1 Beldame. Her tactical ability should allow Bailey to secure a nice spot for the real running, and she should put her best foot forward once again today. SOCIETY SELECTION has a solid record at Belmont (8-2-4-1) and genuine class. She rallied into the fray in the Beldame before finishing third. HAPPY TICKET is one of the true feel-good stories of the day. Far worse things could happen than her emerging victorious.

- Marty McGee

HAPPY TICKET was gaining late on Ashado in the Beldame, a fine effort considering she was put into a premature drive, and had traffic trouble into the stretch. There is a possibility that her first try at 1 1/8 miles in the Beldame might have been her best, but she will be a good enough price again to take that risk. ASHADO, the defending Distaff champ, will take some beating. She may not have been at her best winning the Beldame since it was her first race after recovering from a foot bruise. SOCIETY SELECTION is formidable when she gets an honest pace to rally into, something she lacked in her last two outings. STELLAR JAYNE, a good third in this last year after being compromised by a wide trip, is 2 for 2 this year, and would be no surprise.

- Mike Watchmaker