10/20/2005 12:00AM

BC Juv. Fillies: Sensation to stretch out in national spotlight


ELMONT, N.Y. - If Sensation can run long as well as she has run short, then she could be one of the prime contenders to upset Adieu and Folklore in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies.

Sensation, a daughter of Dixie Union, has won 3 of 4 starts. Her 5 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3 Astarita Stakes here on Oct. 2 made her 2 for 2 at Belmont and helped convince her owners, trainer Stanley Hough, Castletop Stable, and Cobra Farm, to send her in the Juvenile Fillies, run at 1 1/16 miles. Sensation has yet to win beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, but Hough doesn't think she's limited distance-wise.

"Hopefully, I can lay just behind the speed, and hopefully the distance doesn't bother her," Hough said. "Anything I've ever done with her, she's never shortened up. I think she will go long. Obviously, it'd be nicer to have a long race in her, but it didn't work out that way."

Sensation was impressive winning her first two starts sprinting. She then finished a well-beaten fourth in the Grade 2 Spinaway behind Adieu and Folklore. It was her third race in six weeks, and she may not have been at her best, Hough said.

"She acted good, but she just kind of run like a dead horse," Hough said. "She had a little excuse at the start, she bobbled a little bit, lost position." Then, said Hough, jockey Eibar Coa "kind of sat on her and thought she could just make a run, but she didn't respond to that."

In the Astarita, Coa put Sensation into the race, and she stalked Saiorse Cat before taking command turning for home. She finished very strongly, and her final time of 1:16.90 for 6 1/2 furlongs was faster than the final time of the Cowdin for males on the same card. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 98.

"She ran well, and everybody that owns the horse, myself included, felt you'd like to be there if you can," Hough said. "We're up against it a little bit, I think, but we got a couple of things going for us. The timing is good, she's doing well, and she likes the track."

On Thursday, Sensation worked five furlongs in 1:01.21 in company with the 2-year-old colt Trippi Appeal. She started a half-length behind and finished on even terms.

Coa was aboard Sensation and said: "We let her do whatever she wanted to do. She settled good and she finished strong."

* Dressed to Kill became the first Breeders' Cup defection as she was declared from the Juvenile Fillies after suffering a non-displaced fracture of her left foreleg during a routine gallop earlier in the week at Saratoga, trainer George Weaver said.