Updated on 09/15/2011 2:06PM

Countdown to the Cup: The Distaff (9/27)


Tranquility Lake is good enough to compete against the best female runners on both turf and dirt, which is why she will do both over the next month. She will run on turf Saturday in the $500,000 Yellow Ribbon Invitational at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting, but her objective for the Oct. 27 World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park remains the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff, which is on the dirt.

In a 25-race career, Tranquility Lake has raced on the turf 20 times. She is the defending champion in the Yellow Ribbon, and the weight-for-age conditions of that race are among the reasons both trainer Julio Canani and owner Marty Wygod believe it is a better option this weekend than Saturday's $200,000 Lady's Secret Handicap at Santa Anita, which is on the dirt.

Tranquility Lake was assigned top weight of 122 pounds for the Lady's Secret, and would have to spot six pounds to Lovellon and 10 to the unbeaten 3-year-old, Tamara Princess.

"I also think it's easier for her to run on turf than dirt," Canani said. "She likes the turf at Santa Anita. She'd be favored in either race. I prefer weight-for-age. And the mile and a quarter on turf is an easy mile and a quarter, because the first part is downhill."

Tranquility Lake ran in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf last year, but faded to finish eighth after making the lead turning for home. The distance of the race, 11 furlongs, is likely beyond her optimum, but the poor performance was among the reasons Wygod decided to bring Tranquility Lake back to race this year at age 6. He thought she deserved another chance.

"I was going to retire her last year, but I wanted to give her one more shot at the Breeders' Cup," Wygod said. "This will be her last year. These will be her last two races.

"Last year, the turf wasn't to her liking at Churchill Downs, and she had missed some time after getting bit by a spider at Del Mar. It knocked her system for a loop. I wanted to give her a chance to show how good she is."

She has been among the best of her division for several years. Tranquility Lake has won 11 of 25 races, has finished in the money 20 times, and owns graded stakes victories on both turf and dirt. She has been managed judiciously by Canani, who ran her just five times last year. She made seven starts in 1999, and will make seven starts this year, should she stick to her

announced schedule.

In other Distaff developments:

*Country Hideaway had "an ankle jump up on her," according to trainer Shug McGaughey, which will cause her to miss Saturday's $125,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont. "I'm not going to go to any extremes with her," McGaughey said.

*Eduardo Inda, the trainer of Tamara Princess, reiterated that she won't be supplemented to the Distaff by owner Aaron Jones, even if she should win the Lady's Secret. The cost would be $200,000.