Updated on 09/17/2011 11:33AM

Pletcher's three potential spoilers crank up this weekend


Depending how things shake out this weekend, trainer Todd Pletcher may have three bullets to fire at Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies favorite Halfbridled on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

Pletcher trains Ashado, Lokoya, and Marylebone, who have combined to win six of eight starts and who will look to enhance their credentials this weekend as the final Breeders' Cup prep races are run.

Ashado and Marylebone, winners of the Spinaway and Matron, respectively, are expected to run in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette at Belmont Park. Lokoya, beaten a nose by Marylebone in the Grade 1 Matron, is one of seven fillies entered in Friday's Grade 2, $400,000 Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland.

"We've got three very solid fillies," Pletcher said. "Ashado and Marylebone, who have yet to be beaten, all they can do is run as fast as the other horses they're running against. We have three fillies in the barn looking to stretch out, looking for more distance. Hopefully, [the distance] will help, but Halfbridled you'd still have to make the favorite."

On Tuesday, Pletcher indicated that Marylebone had gotten enough seasoning from her first two starts that she would not need another race before the Breeders' Cup. But on Wednesday he changed his mind, and said Marylebone will at least be entered in the Frizette, a one-turn, 1 1/16-mile race.

"The filly worked really well on Tuesday. We're here, it's a significant race," Pletcher said. "We might want to take a closer look."

Marylebone would run with Ashado, who has won all three of her starts, including the Schuylerville and Spinaway, but has yet to receive the accolades one would figure goes along with such accomplishments. Perhaps the fact the East Coast fillies are viewed as a relatively weak group has something to do with that.

With trainer Bob Baffert shipping Victory U. S. A. from California to New York for the Frizette, handicappers could get a line how the East Coast fillies stack up with those on the West Coast. Victory U. S. A. was a sharp maiden winner before finishing third, five lengths behind Halfbridled in the Del Mar Debutante.

Lokoya looked good winning her maiden at Belmont in July but did not seem comfortable over a muddy track when fourth in the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga. In the slowly run Matron, Lokoya put away a pace challenge from Sisti's Pride and Eye Dazzler only to be nipped at the wire by Marylebone. Pletcher said he will see how Lokoya runs Friday before determining her Breeders' Cup status.

Trainer John Shirreffs said the connections of both Tarlow and Hollywood Story, the second- and third-place finishes in the Oak Leaf, want to run back in the Juvenile Fillies.

Trainer Eoin Harty said no decision has been made on whether Arlington-Washington Lassie winner Zosima would run, though Harty said he would like to give it a try. Everyday Angel, the Lassie runner-up is being pointed to the Breeders' Cup.

Whoopi Cat, the Adirondack winner who missed about 10 days of training with a bruised foot, remains on course for the Juvenile Fillies, trainer Patrick Biancone said.