12/11/2001 12:00AM

Beloved by All in grass experiment


NEW ORLEANS - If Beloved by All loves turf, Thursday's Fair Grounds feature will be all over.

With scary speed and the rail on a course that has promoted front-runners in one-turn races, Beloved by All doesn't have to be a turf specialist - she just has to get a grip on the surface.

Not that her race, an optional-claiming sprint, is a walkover. Tom Amoss, second to Beloved by All's trainer, Steve Asmussen, in the trainer standings, has entered two horses, Boo's Brass Lady, who will challenge Beloved by All early, and Daintree, a cut-back route horse who should be stalking the pace at this "about" 5 1/2-furlong trip. Both Amoss fillies love the Fair Grounds grass: Daintree has a 2-0-1 record here from three starts; while Boo's Brass Lady is 2-1-0 from four starts.

Besides Boo's Brass Lady, who won an off-the-turf dash at this class level here Nov. 29, Beloved by All must outrun Wilma Lee for the early lead. But it's possible that Beloved by All, who probably has never even set foot on a grass course, is simply better than these fillies. To anyone who saw her awesome Fair Grounds allowance win in January, it's difficult to believe Beloved by All has lost all five starts since then.

She's by no means finished. "She's still freaky-fast," Asmussen said.

Asmussen blames himself for the filly going off track last season. After her win here, Beloved by All, who is not bred to be a route horse, was thrown into the Grade 3 Silverbulletday at two turns. The competition was not the problem; the distance was.

"I knocked her completely out trying to make an Oaks filly out of her," Asmussen said.

Beloved by All never looked comfortable in two route races she ran. She fought her rider, resisted rating tactics, and by the time the stretch rolled around, was out of gas.

Back sprinting at the Churchill Downs summer meet, Beloved by All finished a troubled second in a good allowance race, was clearly not at her best in another allowance loss, then went to the sidelines, coming back last month in another Churchill allowance. "We thought she'd gallop," Asmussen said. Instead, she flew, and after setting a frantic pace Beloved by All was passed and settled for second. Hello, five-race losing streak.

Like many horses, Beloved by All may have benefited from her comeback race, and at this abbreviated trip with an inside draw, there's probably no holding back - we'll see just how fast she is.

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