03/24/2010 12:00AM

Distinctively gets distance test


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Shug McGaughey has wanted to run Distinctively around two turns for a long time. He just didn't want the first time to be in a stakes race.

With no other options and with Saturday's $100,000 Ladies Stakes at Aqueduct coming up light, McGaughey may have found a pretty good spot in which to stretch Distinctively out to 1 1/8 miles for the first time. Distinctively was one of five horses entered in the Ladies, a race that despite its 139-year history was off the schedule in 2009. It was brought back after a one-year hiatus and shortened from 1 1/4 miles to basically take the place of the furloughed Next Move.

McGaughey said he could not get two-turn races to fill for Distinctively in New York last year or Gulfstream this year. Distinctively won a maiden race going a one-turn mile last Nov. 20 at Aqueduct, a race originally carded for 1 1/16 miles on turf. In her only start this year, Distinctively finished second in a one-turn mile in a first- level allowance race on Feb. 6.

"I thought, well the stakes will go, we'll get her ready to go, send her up there and hopefully it doesn't come up where we're taking too big a step," McGaughey said. "It looks like that's kind of the case."

The competition includes Tidal Dance, who won the Affectionately in January, Love's Blush, who finished second in the Maryland Media Racing Handicap last out, plus Weathered and Quiet Mover, who finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in an overnight stakes here on March 18.

Distinctively is a daughter of Awesome Again out of the eight-time Grade 1-winning mare Heavenly Prize. She is a half-sister to graded stakes winners Good Reward and Pure Prize.

"I think she'll run good," McGaughey said. "It's a matter if she's good enough."

The Ladies will is carded as the fourth race on a 10-race card.

Borrowing Base getting a break

The winner of the last Ladies Stakes was Borrowing Base, a New York-bred who was conspicuous by her absence on the nomination list for this year's running. Trainer Pat Quick said that Borrowing Base is getting a break after getting beat 28 1/4 lengths in the Rare Treat Stakes on Feb. 20, her third consecutive double-digit-length defeat.

Quick said the owners of Borrowing Base are contemplating whether to retire the mare or bring her back for a summer campaign.

"The three marathons took a lot out of her so we backed off her," Quick said. "She's just been jogging on the pony track."

If Borrowing Base retires, she will do so with a record 7-10-12 from 59 starts with $515,421 in earnings.