10/22/2010 3:57PM

Nicole H, Qualia on the bubble for Filly and Mare Sprint

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Qualia (1), narrowly beaten by Rightly So in the Bed o' Roses at Belmont, will run in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint if she can get into the field.

Trainers Mike Hushion and Robert Ribaudo will be holding their breath waiting to find out if their fillies get into the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Pre-entries are due on Monday.

Hushion trains the 3-year-old filly Nicole H, who was ultra-impressive winning a first-level allowance race at Belmont on Sept. 22. Ribaudo trains Qualia, a 4-year-old, who won three allowance races and was beaten a head by probable Filly and Mare Sprint favorite Rightly So in the Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses in the spring.

Nicole H went 1 for 9 racing on the turf and synthetic surfaces of Southern California before being transferred to Hushion by owner John Waken. On Aug. 22, she finished second to Simple Words in a first-level allowance over a sloppy Monmouth track before rolling to a 10 3/4-length score under Ramon Dominguez in a Belmont allowance on Sept. 22. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 99 in each of those races and a Ragozin sheet number of 3 1/2 in each race.

“That was faster than they ran the Test,” Hushion said. “As stoic as Ramon can be, he was impressed.”

Qualia finished last in the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga, but had an excuse as she needed to be re-shod in the paddock and then had her saddle slip during the running of the race and had to be pulled up. Qualia finished fourth, beaten two lengths in the Gallant Bloom at Belmont on Sept. 25.

“If you go by the Bed o’ Roses we’d be highly considered,” Ribaudo said. “Since then, things haven’t gone as planned. The one thing that last race did was ease our mind that the Saratoga race was not indicative of the rest of her career.”

Admiral Alex in proper spot

If Admiral Alex is as good as his owner/trainer Leon Blusiewicz believes he is, the 3-year-old is finally placed in a race where he can prove it. Admiral Alex is one of five horses entered in Sunday’s $70,000 Arts and Letters Stakes for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles over the main track.

After Admiral Alex won his debut at Saratoga on July 31, Blusiewicz ran him against more seasoned opponents in the Grade 1 Travers, where he finished last of 11. Following that, Blusiewicz put Admiral Alex in the Grade 1 Jamaica on turf, where he ended up 10th off 11. The Arts and Letters is essentially an allowance race.

On paper, the Nick Zito-trained Our Dark Knight looks like the lone speed in the race. Blusiewicz said that won’t be the case.
“I’m putting him on the lead and we’ll see if they can catch him,” Blusiewicz said.

Our Dark Knight finished second to the undefeated Trickmeister in the Pleasant Colony Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 27 before finishing third behind Colizeo in the Star of Cozzene Stakes here on Oct. 2. In the Star of Cozzene, Our Dark Knight was dueled into defeat by his stablemate Jackson Bend.

If Our Dark Knight and Admiral Alex hook up in this spot, Regal Warrior, Keep Me Informed, or Ae Pit will attempt to pick up the pieces.

Naughty New Yorker hurt, retired

Naughty New Yorker, the 2007 New York-bred horse of the year, suffered an injury on Friday and was to be scratched from Saturday’s $200,000 Empire Classic. The horse will be retired and will sold at the Keeneland November sale, according to John Stuart, an advisor to owner Fox Ridge Farm’s Peter Schiff

Naughty New Yorker, an 8-year-old son of Quiet American trained by Pat Kelly, had a record of 12-10-10 from 65 starts and earned $1,087,084.

He won 11 stakes – 10 restricted to New York-breds – including the Grade 3 Red Smith in 2006. Originally scheduled for the turf, that year’s Red Smith was rained off to the dirt.

“He was a poster boy for New York-breds, that’s for sure,” said Stuart, whose Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services will be the consignor of Naughty New Yorker.

Etched still possible for Classic
Etched, winner of the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup on Oct. 9, remains possible for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Friday.

“There are five or six horses that are really tough, but the interesting thing that I look at is it would be his third race off a layoff and it might be his best,” McLaughlin said. “It’s been two and out a couple of times with him.”

Actually, the only time Etched put three races together in a close period of time was last fall when, after winning an allowance race and the Grade 2 Meadowlands Cup, he finished 13th in the Grade 2 Clark.

Etched, a son of Forestry out of the 2001 Breeders Cup Distaff winner Unbridled Elaine, is 2 for 2 this year with wins in the Formal Gold Stakes and the Monmouth Cup. He is 7 for 9 lifetime.

If the decision is made by Darley Stable to pre-enter on Monday then “we’re probably running,’’ McLaughlin said, refuting the idea of pre-entering just to take a look at the race.

McLaughlin said that one alternative spot for Etched could be the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 27.

McLaughlin did say that Redding Colliery, winner of the Hawthorne Gold Cup, would not run in the Classic, but either the Clark at Churchill Downs or the Japan Cup Dirt.