11/11/2005 12:00AM

Last dance for Pampered Princess


MIAMI - Pampered Princess was forced to pass the Breeders' Cup Distaff after contracting a sinus infection a week before the race. But trainer Marty Wolfson will have one last chance to run Pampered Princess before she is retired to the breeding shed when she returns to Kentucky on Thanksgiving Day for Churchill Downs's Grade 2, $300,000 Falls City Handicap.

Pampered Princess, who worked an easy five furlongs in 1:04 here early Friday morning, enhanced her breeding value last month with her victory over Pleasant Home in Keeneland's Grade 1 Spinster Handicap. That performance was flattered when Pleasant Home returned three weeks later to dominate the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Pampered Princess "went up into the cold weather for the Spinster, then came back home to the warm, humid climate here that preceded Hurricane Wilma, and that's probably what gave her the sinus infection," said Wolfson. "She was 90 percent recuperated by Breeders' Cup Day, but you have to be 150 percent going in to win one of those races."

Wolfson said he had no regrets about sitting home and watching Pleasant Home dominate the Distaff.

"I was happy to see that filly win, because it makes us look even better," said Wolfson. "I wasn't too keen on going up for the Distaff, anyway, because the timing wasn't great. It was only three weeks after the Spinster, and Pampered Princess does her best with five or six weeks between starts, and the race was around one turn, which makes all the difference in the world. Around one turn, even going a mile and one-eighth it becomes like a sprint."

Pampered Princess, who is owned by Martin Cherry, will not return to Calder after she leaves south Florida for the Falls City.

"She's going right to Taylor Made Farms after her next race, and at the moment I believe the plans are to breed her to Unbridled's Song next season," said Wolfson.

Wolfson has another up-and-coming filly in his barn, the 4-year-old Prospective Saint, who is coming off a second-place finish in Churchill Downs' Grade 2 Chilukki Handicap. Prospective Saint, a 4-year-old daughter of Saint Ballado, has already won three stakes here this year: the Kimscountrydiamond, Barbs Dancer, and Shocker T. Handicap.

"I just hope she'll be able to step in and fill Pampered Princess's shoes for us this winter and next year," said Wolfson.

Cruz staying ahead of Castro

It's been strange to look atop the jockey standings and not see the name Eddie Castro, but that's been the case recently after Manoel Cruz burst out to an early lead after the first 14 days of the Tropical meet. Cruz, who finished a distant second behind Castro despite winning nearly 200 races during the Calder meeting, held a five-win lead over his rival entering Friday's card, then wasted little time extending that advantage by winning the opener aboard the odds-on Saffronista.