10/23/2005 11:00PM

BC Distaff: Pampered Princess drops out

Probable Distaff favorite Ashado works five furlongs in 1:00.20 under regular rider John Velazquez on Monday morning at Belmont.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff on Saturday at Belmont Park is expected to have its largest field in years when entries are taken and post positions drawn on Wednesday, but it will not have the maximum of 14 runners. That is because Pampered Princess, the winner of the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland, is out of the Distaff with an upper respiratory infection, trainer Marty Wolfson said.

Wolfson said the problem was discovered on Sunday, after Pampered Princess worked a half-mile at Calder Race Course in Florida.

"I always scope her afterward, and she had quite a bit of mucus in there," said Wolfson, who said he thinks Pampered Princess became ill because she shipped from cold weather in Kentucky to the warm weather of Florida, where she is based.

The defection of Pampered Princess leaves a field of 13, which is the most in the Distaff since 14 raced in 1992 at Gulfstream Park. The 1992 edition is the only time in 21 runnings that the Distaff has had a full field.

More than half the scheduled runners in this year's field had their final workouts on Sunday and Monday, with five working Monday at Belmont Park. Monday was a particularly busy day, since wet weather over the weekend impacted training, and a strong storm forecast for Monday night forced the hand of trainers who might have wanted to wait until Tuesday.

Ashado, who won the Distaff last year at Lone Star Park and will make her final career start in this year's Distaff, worked five furlongs on a fast Belmont track in 1:00.20 while in company for trainer Todd Pletcher. John Velazquez, her regular jockey, was aboard.

"I thought she worked well," Pletcher said. "She left her workmate a little sooner than I would have liked for her to. She did what she does when she's running - she just kind of idles a little bit. Johnny didn't ask her to do any more because he knew they went off pretty solidly. That's just her - she's competitive when she has a target and when she disposes of them she just idles a little bit."

Nothing But Fun (59.80 seconds), Stellar Jayne (1:01.20), and Sweet Symphony (1:00.40) also worked five furlongs at Belmont, and Society Selection worked seven furlongs in 1:26.

In addition, Yolanda B. Too was credited with a one-mile work in 1:45.55 at Aqueduct on Monday, though trainer Rick Violette Jr. said it was more akin to an open gallop.

"She's a lightly raced filly who ran hard at the beginning of the month," Violette said. "She doesn't need to work hard."

On Sunday at Churchill Downs, Capeside Lady was timed in 50.40 seconds for a half-mile on a good track.

Happy Ticket, who was second to Ashado in the Beldame Stakes, is scheduled to have her final workout on Wednesday, trainer Andy Leggio said.

The 13 expected to enter the Distaff, including jockeys, are Ashado (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 (Alex Solis), Pleasant Home (Cornelio Velasquez), Society Selection (Edgar Prado), Stellar Jayne (Frankie Dettori), Sweet Symphony (Jerry Bailey), and Yolanda B. Too (Eibar Coa).

- additional reporting by David Grening