07/14/2005 11:00PM

Big plans for Isola Piu Bella

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Two Trail Sioux, winning the Fleur de Lis, runs in Sunday's Del Cap.

Come October, trainer Todd Pletcher could be faced with a sticky situation. Pletcher's powerful stable includes Ashado, the defending Breeders' Cup Distaff champion and the 2004 Eclipse Award winner in the 3-year-old filly division. But he now also has Isola Piu Bella, a 5-year-old Chilean import who has already won three nine-furlong stakes at three different tracks this season.

Pletcher avoided an immediate confrontation by entering Isola Piu Bella in Sunday's $1 million at Delaware Park and keeping Ashado in reserve for the Go for Wand Handicap at Saratoga on July 31.

Sooner or later, though, Pletcher is going to have to speak with Oussama Aboughazaleh, who races under the name Sumaya Us Stables, to determine whether Aboughazaleh is willing to put up the money to supplement Isola Piu Bella to this fall's Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park.

"We think she's a Breeders' Cup quality filly," Pletcher said. "Without speaking to Mr. Aboughazaleh, I think he would be game to do that, particularly if he was going to keep her in training one more year, so that's something we'll kick around as we get closer and see how she does in the next couple of races. Hopefully, she can pay her own way."

A victory in the Del Cap would be worth $600,000, which would more than cover the $400,000 fee it would cost to supplement Isola Piu Bella to the $2 million Distaff.

Assuming Isola Piu Bella runs well in the Del Cap, Pletcher said he will likely point her to the Personal Ensign, another 1 1/4-mile race, at Saratoga.

Unlike Isola Piu Bella, 11 of her 12 rivals in the Del Cap have no experience at 1 1/4 miles. She won twice at that distance at the Group 1 level in Chile.

Pletcher said he could have taken Isola Piu Bella to Churchill Downs for the Grade 2, $300,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap last month, but because his main target was the Del Cap, he preferred to give her a race over the track in the $100,000 Obeah, a race she won by two lengths. It's the same path Pletcher took with Irving's Baby, who went on to win the 2001 Del Cap.

"We felt like it was important to get a prep at Delaware, which is why we kind of circled the Obeah there last month," Pletcher said. "We've been pointing for this race for a while, and we feel like she's coming up to it in good shape and definitely feel like a mile and a quarter is right up her alley."

The keenest competition for Isola Piu Bella in the Del Cap figures to come from Two Trail Sioux, winner of six of her last seven starts dating back to last June, including the Fleur de Lis in her most recent race. According to trainer Wally Dollase, Two Trail Sioux had an excuse for her only loss, when she broke poorly and finished next to last in the Grade 2 Louisville BC Handicap at Churchill.

"That race was just a mess," Dollase said. "Coming out of the gate, we almost hit another horse, and we got hit going into the first turn, so we are just drawing a line through that one. But most of her races have been quite good. She is very consistent."

Pat Day, who rode her in the Fleur de Lis, will retain the mount.

Besides Isola Piu Bella and Two Trail Sioux, there are four other graded stakes winners in the field: Island Sand, Personal Legend, Silmaril, and Friel's for Real. Of that group, only Silmaril, who upset Ashado in the Pimlico BC Distaff, has had success in a graded stakes this season.

Both the Del Cap, which goes as race 11 at 5:44 p.m., and the Grade 3, $300,000 Leonards Richards for 3-year-olds (race 10, 5:13 p.m.) will be televised on ESPN2.