11/03/2001 12:00AM

Nice win for 'Nasty' in Distaff

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Nasty Storm is tentatively scheduled to be sold at the November Sales at Keeneland this week. But after the filly won her third straight race by wiring the field Saturday in the Grade 2 $222,200 Churchill Downs Distaff, her connections may drive a very hard bargain.

"There's just one problem," said Riley McDonald, one of five partners who own Nasty Storm. "We're having too much fun."

The fun began Saturday when Nasty Storm, rated on the lead by Pat Day, spurted clear inside the eighth pole, effectively sealing her sixth triumph from 15 career starts. She returned $4.40 as the favorite in a field of eight fillies and mares.

Forest Secrets, part of an entry sent off at 7-2, chased the winner the whole way before finishing second by 1 1/4 lengths. Trip, the 4-1 third choice, finished third, another length back. Then came Caressing, Precious Feather, Vivid Sunset, Rose of Zollern, and Wittenberg.

McDonald, a bloodstock specialist, said the partners would decide at dinner Saturday night whether to actually sell Nasty Storm. But even if Nasty Storm goes through the sales ring, "obviously we'll be asking for a certain price before we'll let her go," said McDonald.

Trainer Dallas Stewart, another of the five owners, said that if he keeps Nasty Storm, he most likely will not attempt to stretch her out in the next major filly-mare race at Churchill, the 1 1/8-mile Falls City Handicap on Nov. 22. "We'll probably get her down to New Orleans and go from there," he said.

On a spectacular autumn day and over a fast track, Nasty Storm set fractions of 46.21 seconds and 1:10.57 before finishing the one-mile Churchill Distaff in 1:35.30. Her previous stakes wins came in the Weekend Delight at Turfway and the Raven Run at Keeneland.

Lotta Rhythm upsets Pocahontas

Earlier Saturday, Lotta Rhythm posted a $46.40 upset in the $111,500 Pocahontas Stakes, giving owner Dolph Morrison and trainer Hal Wiggins a useful replacement for You, the standout filly they sold earlier this year.

Lotta Rhythm, ridden by Marlon St. Julien, swept into contention on the far turn of the one-mile race for 2-year-old fillies. She was hard-ridden down the stretch to prevail by a neck over Cunning Play, the 7-5 favorite in a field of eight. Joanies Bella was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third, a nose ahead of 2-1 second choice Speed to Burn.

Lotta Rhythm, a homebred filly by Rhythm, won her first two starts before finishing third in the Indian Summer Stakes last month at Keeneland. She finished in 1:37.96.

Wiggins said Lotta Rhythm likely would wheel back in the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes here Nov. 24. Trainer Diane Perkins said Cunning Play would be rested before gearing up for a 3-year-old campaign.

Morrison, who was in from Alabama to accept the winner's trophy, last summer sold You to Edmund Gann for an undisclosed price. You went on to become a Grade 1 winner for trainer Bobby Frankel.