10/18/2005 11:00PM

BC Distaff: Ashado may face packed house

Ashado looks to repeat her win in last year's Distaff.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Ashado will seek to become only the second horse to win the Breeders' Cup Distaff twice, and she may face the largest field in the race since 1992, when she makes her career finale in this year's $2 million Distaff on Oct. 29 at Belmont Park.

Ashado was one of 14 fillies and mares announced on Wednesday as pre-entries in the 1 1/8-mile Distaff, which will be run as the sixth of eight Breeders' Cup races. Ashado, 4, won last year's Distaff at Lone Star Park as a 3-year-old. She also was second as a 2-year-old in the Juvenile Fillies to Halfbridled at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting in 2003.

"She's an extremely good filly who has been at the top of the game since she was a 2-year-old," said her trainer, Todd Pletcher, who has sent out Ashado to 12 wins in 20 lifetime starts for a partnership headed by Jack and Laurie Wolf. "She's a remarkable filly that we try to just keep pointing in the right direction.

I can't take credit besides being fortunate enough to train a remarkable filly."

Bayakoa, in 1989 at Gulfstream Park and 1990 at Belmont Park, is the only horse to have won the Distaff twice. Her 1990 victory came under grim circumstances, when Go for Wand broke down in the stretch run.

Ashado will have her final workout on Sunday morning at Belmont Park, Pletcher said.

Pletcher also pre-entered off-track specialist Capeside Lady, who most recently was third in the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland.

The Distaff has had 14 starters just once, in 1992, when Paseana

prevailed. It often has a small field. The Distaff has had eight starters or fewer in 12 of its previous 21 runnings. Ashado beat 10 rivals last year, including four horses - Hollywood Story, Island Fashion, Society Selection, and Stellar Jayne - who were among this year's pre-entries.

Hollywood Story and Island Fashion are scheduled to ship here after working this weekend in California. Pampered Princess, the winner of the Spinster, will travel Wednesday after working at Calder over the weekend. All other runners are based in, or have arrived in, New York.

With the exception of Yolanda B. Too, who most recently was second to Nothing but Fun in the Cotillion Handicap at Philadelphia Park, all riding assignments have been confirmed for the Distaff. The field is Ashado (John Velazquez the rider), Capeside Lady (Chris DeCarlo), Happy Ticket (Victor Espinoza), Healthy Addiction (Garrett Gomez), Hollywood Story (Patrick Valenzuela), In the Gold (Gary Stevens), Island Fashion (Rafael Bejarano), Nothing but Fun (Richard Migliore), Pampered Princess (Eddie Castro), Pleasant Home (Cornelio Velasquez), Society Selection (Edgar Prado), Stellar Jayne (Frankie Dettori), Sweet Symphony (Jerry Bailey), and Yolanda B. Too.