09/27/2006 12:00AM

Division likely to remain inscrutable


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A little over five weeks before the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup, the pecking order among the leading contenders for the Juvenile Fillies is puzzling. And it doesn't figure to get any less puzzling in the weeks ahead.

At least three contenders for the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile Fillies - Dreaming of Anna, Featherbed, and Octave - are unlikely to start between now and the race. And another, Meadow Breeze, upset winner of the Grade 1 Matron Stakes, could follow suit if her trainer, Carl Deville, opts to bypass a potential start in the Oct. 14 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park.

The division is not entirely inactive, however. The filly many regard as the leader in the division, the Bob Baffert-trained Point Ashley, is set to start in Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita. The 1 1/16-mile race will mark her first start around two turns.

A 2 1/2-length winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante in her last start, she is expected to face a short field in the Oak Leaf, with Sorrento Stakes runner Outofthepast and Landaluce Stakes winner Pinata likely to be her most accomplished opponents. Promising maiden winners Cash Included and Back in the Shade are probable.

Saturday's $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway Park and the Grade 3, $250,000 Mazarine Breeders' Cup at Woodbine could also produce Breeders' Cup starters, although neither race carries a headliner with the status of Point Ashley. Kauai Calls, Frisk Her, Cherokee Sheik, and Whatdreasrmadeof are among the favorites at Turfway, and Changeisgonnacome, A. P. Reality, Stillistillmovin, and Sprung are the most prominent starters at Woodbine. Both races will be contested over Polytrack.

If Point Ashley prevails in Saturday's Oak Leaf, she will likely head to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies as the favorite. Otherwise, favoritism could go to unbeaten Dreaming of Anna, a Rahy filly whose wins in the Tippett Stakes at Colonial and the Grade 3 Summer at Woodbine have both come on turf. Those races followed a maiden win going 4 1/2 furlongs on dirt.

"Obviously I would have liked to have gotten a race on dirt with her going into the Breeders' Cup," trainer Wayne Catalano said Wednesday. "But she has been training so well on dirt that I'm not worried."

Although she will train at Keeneland for the next few weeks, she will not use the Grade 2 Alcibiades there on Oct. 6 as a prep to the Breeders' Cup, Catalano said.

Trainer Steve Flint said Wednesday that he would likely run either Change Up or Get Ready Bertie in the Alcibiades, depending on which filly breezes better over Keeneland's Polytrack surface on Friday. Change Up is a stakes winner; Get Ready Bertie comes off a 6 3/4-length maiden win after a stakes placing at Ellis Park in the Anna M. Fischer Debutante.

Whichever filly does not run in the Alcibiades will likely be removed from Breeders' Cup consideration, Flint said.