10/17/2006 11:00PM

Everybody eager to jump into pool


Roughly two weeks before the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs, no race appears as wide open as the Juvenile Fillies. Nearly all of the 2-year-old fillies being pointed toward the 1 1/16-mile race have questions surrounding their form, including likely favorites Cash Included, Point Ashley, and Dreaming of Anna.

Cash Included and Point Ashley are untested outside of their home base of California, and Dreaming of Anna is unproven in a dirt stakes race, having recorded her two stakes victories on turf after a maiden victory on dirt.

These uncertainties, as well as the fact that a couple major preps this month have been won by longshots and in slow time, have many trainers thinking the Juvenile Fillies could be ripe for an upset. A large field, perhaps an oversubscribed field, is likely to be pre-entered next week.

This week, several trainers of longshots said they were likely to enter. These fillies include the front-running Mistical Plan, who won the restricted Cover Gal Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 8, and Gatorize and She's Included, fifth and eighth in the Grade 2 Alcibiades at Keeneland.

Trainer Dale Romans also expressed an interest in the race with Baroness Thatcher, a five-length winner of a seven-furlong maiden race at Keeneland on Oct. 7.

Trainer Helen Pitts said she feels inclined to test Gatorize after a troubled trip in the Alcibiades. She pointed to Bel Air Beauty's upset victory in the Oct. 6 Alcibiades at 47-1 odds as evidence that the division is wide open.

"With a late bloomer, anything could happen," she said.

There is no assurance Gatorize, or any of the other fillies that have yet to win or place in a graded stakes race, will get to start. If the race draws more than 14 horses, the maximum field size, the seven horses with the highest point total based on wins and placings in American graded stakes get into the race, and the remaining runners and alternates are determined by a selection panel.

Mistical Plan, Gatorize, and Baroness Thatcher all have zero graded stakes points. She's Included has 4 points.

Of the fillies that are likely to run, the seven point leaders are Point Ashley (16), Untouched Talent (14), Octave (12), Sutra (12), Appealing Zophie (10), Cash Included (10), and Cotton Blossom (10). Dreaming of Anna has zero points but seems a near certainty to be selected by the panel if the race overfills.

Meadow Breeze, winner of the Grade 1 Matron Stakes, has 10 points, but her Breeders' Cup participation is in doubt after she underwent surgery this week to correct a flipped palate.

As for Frizette winner Sutra, who earned a 68 Beyer Speed Figure in the race, trainer Mike Stidham wants to observe her training before fully committing to the Breeders' Cup.