09/29/2010 1:38PM

With Rachel out, Blind Luck tops Ladies' Classic contenders

Tom Keyser
Blind Luck is the likely favorite in this year's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.

Headed by Blind Luck, the nation’s leading 3-year-old filly, nearly all of the top contenders for this year’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic will be in action Saturday.

Blind Luck departed Southern California on Wednesday for Philadelphia, where she will compete in the Grade 2, $750,000 Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing. Four other 3-year-old fillies are entered in that race, though Bonnie Blue Flag also is entered in the Grade 1, $350,000 Beldame Stakes for older fillies and mares at Belmont Park.

With her victory earlier this year in the Kentucky Oaks, Blind Luck already has proven that she can handle the main track at Churchill Downs, where the Ladies’ Classic will be run, under the lights for the first time, on Nov. 5. Then again, Blind Luck hardly has needed to take her track with her. She has recorded victories this year on dirt and synthetic surfaces while traveling frequently and winning at Saratoga, Delaware, Churchill Downs, Oaklawn Park, and Santa Anita.

“A person would have to be very grateful to have a horse like her that tries every time, and we are,” Jerry Hollendorfer,trainer and co-owner of Blind Luck, said Wednesday morning. “She’s maintained her enthusiasm and a good attitude all year. She tells us what she wants to do, and usually it’s just a few days after a race that she wants to do something. She was bouncy earlier this week when I saw her at Hollywood Park. Hopefully she’ll go to Philadelphia and run another good race.”

Blind Luck’s primary rival in the Cotillion should be Havre de Grace, who lost narrow decisions to Blind Luck in both the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga and the Delaware Oaks.

With Rachel Alexandra now retired, and Zenyatta pointing to a title defense in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 6, Blind Luck, though only a 3-year-old, is the acknowledged favorite for the Ladies’ Classic.

Zenyatta will be competing Saturday in the Grade 1, $250,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes at the Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park, but that race is not expected to have a serious impact on the Ladies’ Classic.

The Beldame, however, should produce several Ladies’ Classic participants. Unrivaled Belle, who beat Rachel Alexandra earlier this year in the La Troienne at Churchill Downs, will have her final Breeders’ Cup prep in the Beldame. Also entered Wednesday in the Beldame were Persistently, who beat Rachel Alexandra in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga last time out, and Life At Ten, who finished third in the Personal Ensign.