07/05/2006 11:00PM

Richwoman could get richer


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Richwoman has been so willing and able to get things done early in her promising career that trainer Steve Asmussen had her flown all the way from Kentucky to Hollywood Park for the May 27 Cinderella Stakes.

"There weren't many other opportunities for us to run her," said Asmussen. "I felt like it was the only bridge between her breaking her maiden and the Debutante. It's a long way to go for a [$71,000] stakes, but it served our purposes."

With five workouts at Churchill Downs, her home track, under her belt since she posted a 2 1/4-length triumph in the Cinderella, Richwoman will make her third career start, and her first at Churchill, when she goes postward Saturday as a major contender in the $100,000 Debutante. Six other 2-year-old fillies, including a formidable pair trained by Todd Pletcher, will contest the Grade 3 Debutante. They will try to pin the first defeat on Richwoman, who prior to the Cinderella was a seven-length winner in early April at Keeneland.

"I feel good about her," said Asmussen, who trains Richwoman for owner-breeder Bill Heiligbrodt. "She's actually never run over the surface here at Churchill, but she has trained extremely well over it."

will break from post 1 under Shaun Bridgmohan in the 5 1/2-furlong Debutante. The uncoupled Pletcher duo of Come Together and Chagall will start from posts 4 and 7, respectively.

, with Julien Leparoux to ride, was favored in her two starts, both maiden races, and showed a useful stalking style. After finishing third in her April debut at Keeneland, she came through with a gritty score on May 20 at Churchill with Leparoux riding for the first time.

, with Rafael Bejarano named, was a flashier winner in her first and only appearance. Getting a clean forward trip under Bejarano, she prevailed as an odds-on choice in a June 16 maiden sprint at Churchill.

"We haven't had to do a whole lot with Chagall because her race was just a few weeks ago, but I thought her one work since then was really good," said Pletcher assistant Michael McCarthy, referring to an easy five-furlong breeze Sunday in 1:03.20 at Churchill.

The balance of the Debutante field is Lenaro, Seaside Affair, Beautiful Venue, and Gallant Dreamer.

Seven years older than its "little brother," the Bashford Manor, the Debutante dates to 1895. Asmussen won the 2005 Debutante with Effectual, owned by Gainesway Thoroughbreds and George Bolton and ridden by Robby Albarado.