10/26/2011 1:51PM

Breeders' Cup: No exclusions expected for Ladies' Classic


Although 15 horses were pre-entered on Wednesday in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, the final field drawn Monday for the Nov. 4 race at Churchill Downs figures to be considerably smaller, since several runners are likely to go in other races.

Of the 15 horses, six were also pre-entered in other races, including Havre de Grace, who is expected to face males in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 5. Havre de Grace, though, will be allowed to enter both races, since they are run on different days.

In the cases of Aruna, Champagne d’Oro, Great Hot, Medaglia d’Amour, and Switch, however, they all will be forced to enter one race on Monday, since the races in which they are cross entered are also on Nov. 4. Aruna, who was also pre-entered in the Filly and Mare Turf, is expected to go in the Ladies’ Classic, which would be her first race on dirt, but Champagne d’Oro, Great Hot, and Switch are more likely for the Filly and Mare Sprint, while Medaglia d’Amour has the Filly and Mare Turf listed as her first preference.

A maximum of 14 horses can run in the 1 1/8-mile Ladies’ Classic, but no one is expected to be excluded when final entries are taken on Monday. As of now, though, Champagne d’Oro is on the outside looking in, per the decision of an international panel of racing officials.

The connections of Aruna have one eye on Havre de Grace and the other on the weather. One of trainer Graham Motion’s main reasons for going in the Ladies’ Classic is that Aruna would retain jockey Ramon Dominguez, but if Havre de Grace was surprisingly re-routed to the Ladies’ Classic, Dominguez would ride Havre de Grace and Aruna would need a replacement.

Aruna originally was scheduled to work on the dirt at Churchill Downs on Friday, but Motion said he was going to move the work back until Saturday because of the weather forecast in Louisville. There was a 70 percent chance of rain Wednesday, and a 60 percent chance on Thursday, but the forecast for Friday through Sunday is for clear skies and cold temperatures.

“It looks really shaky for Wednesday and Thursday, even into Thursday night,” Motion said. “I wanted her to gallop one day over it before working. She’s been at Keeneland. She’s going to stay there and gallop on Thursday, then go over to Churchill Downs and gallop on Friday and work Saturday.”At Belmont Park on Wednesday, It’s Tricky worked five furlongs in 1:00.10 on the main track for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. She was second to Plum Pretty in the Cotillion at Parx earlier this month.

“We wouldn’t trade places with anybody,” McLaughlin said. “We like what we see from It’s Tricky. The last race was run on a funny racetrack, wet and fast. Plum Pretty loved it and beat us fair and square. We hope to turn the tables next Friday. She couldn’t be doing any better.”

The expected final Ladies’ Classic field, with probable riders, is Aruna (Dominguez), Ask the Moon (Javier Castellano), It’s Tricky (Julien Leparoux), Miss Match (Garrett Gomez), Pachattack (Rajiv Maragh), Plum Pretty (Rafael Bejarano), Royal Delta (Jose Lezcano), Satan’s Quick Chick (Edgar Prado), and Ultra Blend (David Flores).

– additional reporting by David Grening