Updated on 09/17/2011 10:22PM

BC Distaff: Shadow Cast awaits Beldame, while Two Trail Sioux will wait till next year


The addition of Happy Ticket to the Grade 1, $750,000 Beldame Stakes on Oct. 1 at Belmont Park has strengthened a race that already was shaping up as the premier prep for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff on Oct. 29.

The Beldame, like the Distaff, is at 1 1/8 miles at Belmont Park. A number of top older runners are expected for the Beldame, including Ashado, Island Sand, Shadow Cast, and Society Selection, as well as the unbeaten 3-year-old filly Sweet Symphony.

One filly who won't be in the Beldame, nor the Distaff, is Two Trail Sioux. According to trainer Wally Dollase, Two Trail Sioux came out of her third-place finish in last month's Personal Ensign Handicap with an ankle chip.

"We took out the chip," Dollase said. "Now we'll just worry about getting her ready for next year."

Shadow Cast, who scored a 14-1 surprise in the Personal Ensign, has remained in New York to point for the Beldame and then the Distaff.

"She's doing very well," said her trainer, Neil Howard. "Right now, it's pretty definite we'll go in the Beldame to get a sense of where she stands in the division, and then after that we'll consider the Distaff."

Island Sand, who finished in a dead heat for fourth in the Personal Ensign with Ashado, has returned to Ellis Park to train, but will head back to New York for the Beldame.

"We'll still pointing that way. The Beldame is next," said Larry Jones, who trains Island Sand.

Stellar Jayne, who led from start to finish in the Ruffian Handicap at Belmont on Sept. 11, will train straight into the Distaff, according to Rick Mettee, who oversees the Belmont Park string of trainer Saeed bin Suroor. Stellar Jayne raced 13 times last year, including a third-place finish in the Distaff. But since being acquired last fall by Godolphin Racing, Stellar Jayne has raced just twice, winning both times.

In the Gold, who captured the Gazelle Handicap on Sept. 10, also will not have another start between now and the Distaff, according to trainer Nick Zito.

In California, trainer John Shirreffs is mapping out plans for his one-two punch of Hollywood Story and Tarlow. Hollywood Story was second, beaten just a nose, in the Clement Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar last month. She will prep for the Distaff in the Grade 2, $250,000 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 2.

Tarlow has not raced since capturing the Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita in March.

"I'd like to make the Distaff if she's able and ready," Shirreffs said. "She's been off because she strained a ligament in a hind pastern. She's a pretty racy filly. She can get ready in a hurry. The problem is I'd like to run her three weeks before the Distaff, but there's nothing I'm comfortable with that weekend. There's the Spinster, but how many horses come off Keeneland and run good the next time?"

Distaff Contenders
3-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, 1 1/8 miles. Purse: $2 million.

1Society SelectionH. A. Jerkens6-1
Good second in Ruffian after throat surgery; ready to move forward
2AshadoT. Pletcher2-1
Loves Belmont, but that stinker in Personal Ensign is cause for pause
3Sweet SymphonyW. Mott5-1
Galloped in Alabama to stay undefeated; improving 3yo is dangerous
4Stellar JayneS. bin Suroor4-1
Won Ruffian off layoff; was a tough-trip third to Ashado in this last year
5Shadow CastN. Howard8-1
Always seemed a cut below the best until her Personal Ensign win
6Indian ValeT. Pletcher10-1
Was tremendous in two wins at Sar; makes stakes debut in Cotillion
7Dream of SummerJ. Garcia15-1
Been better going long this year than expected; fresh coming into fall
8Island SandJ. L. Jones20-1
Could contend on her best race, but consistency has been a problem
9TarlowJ. Shirreffs12-1
Better than ever early in year, then vanished; that's never a good sign
10Hollywood StoryJ. Shirreffs30-1
All three of this closer's career stakes wins came at Hollywood Park
The top 10 contenders for each of the eight Breeders' Cup races are ranked by Mike Watchmaker, who set the odds and wrote the comments. Actual Breeders' Cup fields will have up to 14 starters.