10/24/2005 11:00PM

BC F&M Turf: In deep field, Wend has no room for error

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Wend, the 4-year-old filly trained by Bill Mott, missed winning the Grade 2 WinStar Galaxy at Keeneland on Oct. 9 by less than a length. That losing margin has kept her from being considered among the very top candidates for Saturday's $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Belmont Park.

Wend finished three-quarters of a length behind Intercontinental in the WinStar Galaxy, which was run over a mile on turf. It was a frustrating loss for Mott since Wend did not get away well, but flew home.

"She had a nice run through the stretch," Mott said. "In a few more strides, she would have been in front."

There is no margin for error in Saturday's race, run at 1 1/4 miles, but then, Wend made few mistakes earlier this year.

Owned and bred by Claiborne Farms, Wend won her first five starts of 2005, including a victory in the Grade 2 New York Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Belmont Park in July. Since then, she has lost twice, including a sixth in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park in August.

"We beat the gang from New York and Megahertz beat us in Chicago," Mott said, referring to the Beverly D. "It was kind of a funny-run race without a lot of pace, but the fact is we failed to finish."

Mott is realistic about Wend's chances on Saturday. He knows she must beat such top-rated mares as Megahertz, Riskaverse, and Wonder Again from the U.S. as well as the defending champion and favorite, Ouija Board.

The quickest turnaround among the BC Filly and Mare Turf's probable starters belongs to Karen's Caper, who finished second in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 15. A majority of the probable starters made their last start earlier in October or, in the case of Ouija Board, in late September.

Karen's Caper was a Group 3 winner in England in April, but has lost her five starts since, including a nose defeat in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes in England in June and a nose loss to Sweet Talker in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

Although she has run on yielding turf, finishing sixth in the Matron Stakes in Ireland on Sept. 10, trainer John Gosden said the current yielding turf at Belmont Park is a problem for Karen's Caper.

"It doesn't help her at all," Gosden said. "We hope it can drain and dry a bit."