Updated on 09/16/2011 7:15AM

Oaks may lose two quality fillies


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Tempera, last year's Eclipse Award-winning juvenile filly, spiked a fever Friday morning, putting her status for Friday's Kentucky Oaks in jeopardy, Tom Albertrani, assistant trainer for Godolphin Racing Inc., said.

"It's unlikely,' said Albertrani on Saturday, indicating he wanted to wait another 24 hours before officially declaring Tempera's status, "unless she gives us all the right signs that she's back to herself.'

Albertrani said Tempera's fever broke Friday night, and she appeared to be doing well Saturday, but Albertrani thinks it might be prudent to keep her out of the race. Tempera has not gone to the track since Thursday.

Even if Tempera does not run, Godolphin will still be represented in the Oaks by Imperial Gesture. Imperial Gesture, who finished second to Tempera in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last fall, is 2 for 2 this year, including a front-running, 3 1/4-length victory over Tempera in the UAE Oaks.

Although Albertrani feels the Oaks is better suited for Tempera, he is hopeful that Imperial Gesture can get the job done.

"She's in there with a great chance,' Albertrani said. "It looks like she travels well; she's kept her condition. She filled out quite a lot over the winter, put on a lot more muscle.'

Albertrani said his initial impression of Imperial Gesture was that she was maybe a miler. She had no problem winning [at nine furlongs] in Dubai. It didn't look like she was stopping at anytime.'

Frankie Dettori is scheduled to come in to ride Imperial Gesture.

Belterra must work better to run

Trainer Carl Nafzger remains non-committal regarding Belterra's status for the Oaks.

"She's doing great and galloping strong but I'll see how she works before deciding whether she'll run in the Oaks," said Nafzger. "I need to see more from her next work than she showed in her last."

Belterra underwent surgery to correct an entrapped epiglottis shortly after her third-place finish in Keeneland's Ashland Stakes earlier this month, a procedure which cost her 10 days of training. She worked for the first time since her surgery last Tuesday and according to Nafzger will work again either Tuesday or Wednesday.

"If she's not 100 percent she won't run Friday," said Nafzger. "She's one of the best fillies I've ever trained. Maybe the best. In fact she's one of the best horses I've ever trained but unfortunately one who has had some tough luck. Naturally it would be a disappointment not to run in the Oaks, but I've got to think way down the road and not about just this one race."

Should Nafzger opt to hold Belterra out of the Oaks he will be well represented in the race by Take the Cake, runner-up to Take Charge Lady in the Ashland and winner of Gulfstream Park's Grade 3 Forward Gal Stakes earlier this year.

Bella Bellucci breezes

Bella Bellucci, who won the Comely Stakes at Aqueduct in her last start and figures as one of the top choices in the Oaks, had an easy seven-furlong workout Saturday morning.

With exercise rider Marcelino Olguin aboard, Bella Bellucci breezed seven furlongs in 1:30.40. Neil Drysdale, the filly's trainer, said he gave Bella Bellucci an easy breeze because she only has 19 days between the Comely and the Oaks.

"She's fit. She just ran," Drysdale said. "It was just a maintenance work. She went well. Just breezing. She galloped out well."

Bella Bellucci has won four times in five starts. Her lone loss came in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, in which she finished third. The 1 1/8-mile Oaks will mark Bella Bellucci's first race around two turns, and first at a distance beyond 1 1/16 miles, yet Drysdale said he has no concerns the daughter of French Deputy can handle the distance.

"Her full brother could run a distance," Drysdale said, referring to Kurofune, the winner of last year's Japan Cup Dirt.

Collect Call will await Milady BC

Saturday's $200,000 Humana Distaff is lacking several leading contenders from across the nation. Kalookan Queen is staying in California for the Desert Stormer Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 7, while Raging Fever and Victory Ride are being prepared for races in New York.

Collect Call, third in the 2001 Kentucky Oaks, will remain in California as well, according to trainer Christopher Paasch. She was unplaced in the Madison Stakes at Keeneland on April 10 in her first start of 2002, emerging from the race with a sore foot.

"She stepped on something, maybe a shoe that came off another horse," Paasch said. "She was real sore for a few days. We were nervous because we thought it was a sesamoid with the way she was walking on it, but she X-rayed fine. We lost too much time."

Paasch said Collect Call will be pointed for the Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 25.

Run over seven furlongs for fillies and mares, the Grade 1 Humana Distaff is expected to include City Fair, Gold Mover, and Nasty Storm.

Saturday, Gold Mover, who is trained by Mark Hennig, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.20 with Jose Sanchez aboard. Sanchez also worked Mystic Lady in 1:01.40, who is scheduled to run in Friday's Louisville Breeders' Cup Stakes.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen, Jay Privman, and Mike Welsch