10/11/2007 11:00PM

Nashoba's Key looks ready

EmailBy STEVE ANDERSEN

ARCADIA, Calif. - Nashoba's Key worked a half-mile in 47.20 seconds at Santa Anita on Friday morning, satisfying trainer Carla Gaines and leaving her eager for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27.

"She always works well," Gaines said. "This time is deceiving. I'm still trying to figure out this track, but what she did, she did easily and that's the main thing. Very easily."

Unbeaten in seven starts, including the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes here on Sept. 29, Nashoba's Key will be favored in the Filly and Mare Turf, which will be her first start outside of California.

Nashoba's Key's chances in the BC Filly and Mare Turf were boosted on Friday when British trainer Henry Cecil said that Passage of Time was likely to skip the Filly and Mare Turf in favor of the Champion Stakes against males at Newmarket, England, on Oct. 20.

Gaines, for one, is confident that Nashoba's Key will continue to show improvement against some of the world's best turf fillies and mares.

"She always does just what she has to do," Gaines said. "She wins by a half-length or three-quarters of a length. We really think there is more there, but I guess you don't know until you try the top horses."

The workout, on Santa Anita's Cushion Track synthetic surface, was the eighth-fastest of 40 recorded works at the distance. Gaines timed Nashoba's Key galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 under exercise rider Tony Rubalcava.

"She was dragging Tony around there," Gaines said. "It was under a strong hold."

Owned by breeder Warren Williamson, Nashoba's Key, 4, has earned $863,460.

Tiago, After Market right on schedule

Tiago, California's leading contender for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, and After Market, the top turf horse in California this summer, worked at Hollywood Park on Friday, preparing for the Breeders' Cup. Both are trained by John Shirreffs.

Tiago worked seven furlongs in 1:25.60. The workout left Shirreffs enthused about the 3-year-old's chances against the nation's best older horses. Tiago won the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes in his first start against older horses on Sept. 29.

"I thought he worked sensationally," Shirreffs said. "He was very even all the way around."

After Market, preparing for the BC Mile, worked five furlongs in 1:03, which Shirreffs described as fast for the 4-year-old.

"Normally he works in 1:05 and he worked in 1:03, which is pretty quick for him," Shirreffs said. "He could care less about this morning stuff. He saves it for the afternoon. It was a very good work."

After Market, the winner of the Inglewood, Charles Whittingham, Eddie Read, and Del Mar handicaps this spring and summer, finished second by a half-length to Trippi's Storm in the Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park on Sept. 29.

Shirreffs said After Market and Tiago will be sent to Monmouth Park on Tuesday to give them a chance to settle at the New Jersey track.

Shaggy Mane, the winner of the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Gulfstream Park in January, worked five furlongs in 58.80 seconds at Hollywood Park, the fastest of 34 works at the distance. Trained by Don Chatlos, Shaggy Mane is bound for the $1 million BC Filly and Mare Sprint on Oct. 26.

Shore Do, third in the Norfolk Stakes on Sept. 30, worked six furlongs in 1:12 at Santa Anita, the second-fastest of 17 works at the distance. Trained by Chuck Peery, Shore Do will be entered in both the BC Juvenile and the BC Juvenile Turf.

Beresford's connections want in

Beresford, fourth in the Norfolk, will be pre-entered in the BC Juvenile, trainer Dan Hendricks said.

Hendricks had considered waiting for the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park in November, but is hoping to give Beresford a chance at the Juvenile.

"We're not sure we can get in," Hendricks said of the BC Juvenile. Beresford has the CashCall Futurity on Dec. 22 as a long-term goal.

Major Pleasure returns

Last winter, Major Pleasure won a maiden race in a way that suggested he could become an important colt. Owner Rick Trontz and trainer Mike Puype are still waiting to see that potential achieved.

Major Pleasure was taken out of training after finishing fourth in an optional claimer in February. He returns in a $45,000 allowance race over seven furlongs on Sunday, a race that Puype hopes will lead to Major Pleasure's stakes debut in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds on Dec. 26.

Puype admits that Major Pleasure may not be able to win on Sunday. He is not thrilled about the distance, wondering if it is too far, or the presence of Street Boss, a lightly raced colt trained by Bruce Headley.

"I'm not crazy about running him back in a seven-eighths race," Puype said. "I believe I have a horse for the Malibu. I think he'll need two starts to be in top shape for the Malibu."

Major Pleasure has won at seven furlongs, in the maiden race last January. He was taken out of training after a loss on Feb. 18.

"He came out of the race a little funky," Puype said. "We decided to give him the time off. I think he'll be an exceptional horse for the next year."

The allowance race drew a field of seven. Street Boss will be favored. He closed ground to finish second in an allowance race on Sept. 26 in his second start and has worked quickly since.

Trainer Patrick Biancone starts Congo King, who was second in the Grade 3 Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland in April. Trainer Mel Stute starts Hurry Up Austin, the runner-up in the San Miguel Stakes in January.

* Hendricks said that Brother Derek, the 2006 Santa Anita Derby winner, will return to his stable after an eight-month layoff during the week of Oct. 22. A five-time stakes winner, Brother Derek has not started since finishing third in the Strub Stakes at Santa Anita in February. He underwent surgery in late February to have a bone chip removed from an ankle. Owned by Cecil Peacock, Brother Derek has won 6 of 16 starts and $1,593,458.