04/30/2003 11:00PM

Gold Mover's redemption?


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The only item missing from Gold Mover's resume is a Grade 1 stakes win. For a few fleeting moments last May, it appeared as though that objective had been achieved.

But shortly after Gold Mover outlasted Celtic Melody by a head in the Humana Distaff, her number on the infield tote board began to blink. A few minutes later, the order of finish was reversed when the stewards ruled that Gold Mover had bumped and interfered with Celtic Melody leaving the eighth pole.

Saturday, Gold Mover gets a chance at redemption when she returns to Churchill Downs for the Grade 1, $200,000 Humana Distaff Handicap at seven furlongs. Though based in New York, Gold Mover is 2 for 4 at Churchill, including a victory in the 2000 Debutante Stakes.

"The good thing is she always runs well at Churchill," Hennig said. "She ran well that day, it was just a matter of circumstances that I didn't necessarily agree with."

Gold Mover, an Edward Evans 5-year-old homebred mare, enters the Humana Distaff in excellent form. She completed her 4-year-old season on Breeders' Cup Day, winning the Safely Kept Handicap at Arlington Park by 7 3/4 lengths. Coming off a 3 1/2-month layoff - the longest break of her career - she was beaten by Harmony Lodge in the Shirley Jones Handicap at Gulfstream in February. One month later, Gold Mover whipped Harmony Lodge by 3 1/2 lengths in the Hurricane Bertie Handicap.

"She's trained great since," Hennig said. "She hasn't been this good since I can remember. I think she's really on top of her game right now."

Breaking from the rail as the 119-pound highweight under Edgar Prado, Gold Mover will spot two to eight pounds to her seven rivals.

Sightseek, trained by Bobby Frankel, is likely the toughest opponent. Last year, Sightseek won the Grade 3 Raven Run at Keeneland and the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct. This year, Sightseek has finished second in three graded races, including once to Affluent in the Grade 1 Santa Monica at seven furlongs.

"That's a good distance for her," Frankel said. "She hasn't run in two months; she's fresh and she's doing well."

Miss Lodi, who makes her second start off a layoff, is a potential upsetter. Her trainer, Tom Amoss, admits he was fooled into thinking the filly was fitter than she was when Miss Lodi finished second in the Victoria Lass Handicap at Fair Grounds in March. She equaled the Churchill Downs record for 7 1/2 furlongs (1:28.08), winning an allowance race here last summer.

"I'm really looking forward to running her," Amoss said.