11/08/2008 12:00AM

Nothinglikegold upset chance


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Paved in Gold made the ultimate sacrifice, albeit for a foal, not her country. So when a special Veterans Day program is staged Tuesday at Churchill Downs, hunch players might find it useful to know that it was a filly named Nothinglikegold whose exceedingly difficult birth cost her dam, Paved in Gold, her life in April 2005.

Mike Trivigno has trained several generations in the equine family of Nothinglikegold, one of nine fillies and mares entered in the Tuesday feature, a $48,000, entry-level allowance at seven furlongs.

"They've all been runners," said Trivigno, starting with Amber Gem, who died earlier this year at 25 after foaling 10 winners, including Paved in Gold, winner of the Grade 2 Astarita at Belmont Park in 1998. Brian Dance, a car dealer in the Orlando, Fla., area, is the breeder and owner of the horses that long have formed the core of the Trivigno stable.

Nothinglikegold won't be one of the wagering choices Tuesday, but if her pedigree comes through, she has a shot at pulling a mild upset. After two decent efforts in Ellis Park maiden races, the 3-year-old More Than Ready filly won versus maidens at Mountaineer Park in September, where she followed up a month later with a runner-up finish in allowance company.

"She's not a bad little filly," said Trivigno.

Nothinglikegold, with Bill Troilo riding from post 8, might have to improve 10 or 15 Beyer Speed Figure points to be a serious contender Tuesday, and if that's not in the cards, the winner probably will come from a group of favorites that will include Sheltered, Distorted Passion, and Geniver.

Sheltered, trained by Paul McGee, most recently was fourth as the favorite in an Oct. 24 entry-level race at Keeneland when having no apparent mishap. Before that, she won a maiden race on the Arlington Million undercard, then was second in her first crack at allowance company at Turfway Park.

Distorted Passion, trained by Todd Pletcher, has dabbled in stakes company and was most recently a good third in a first-level allowance on Oct. 12 at Keeneland.

Geniver, trained by Angel Montano, enters off back-to-back wins, albeit in claiming company. Her recent form suggests she is as ready as ever for this jump in class.

The ninth-race feature is the lone allowance on a 10-race card that starts at the usual 12:40 p.m. Eastern.