10/20/2009 11:00PM

Rutherienne will try extra eighth

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rutherienne (right) wins the one-mile Noble Damsel at Belmont Park last month. She has never raced beyond 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Rutherienne will make her first start at 1 1/4 miles on turf in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 6, a race that may not include the 3-year-old filly Gozzip Girl.

Rutherienne, a winner of 11 of 22 starts and $1,280,671, has won 10 stakes in her three-year career, but has never run beyond 1 1/8 miles on turf. Trainer Christophe Clement said on Wednesday that the decision to point for the BC Filly and Mare Turf was made after Rutherienne breezed a half-mile in 48.86 seconds on the main track at Belmont Park on Wednesday.

Rutherienne, 5, has not started since winning the Grade 3 Noble Damsel Handicap over a mile on turf at Belmont Park on Sept. 19.

"She's amazingly consistent," Clement said. "We believe she can handle the firm turf. She's got a pretty efficient turn of foot, which is nice. She has that tactical speed, which is nice. She's never run a mile and a quarter, but at Santa Anita it's an easier mile and a quarter."

Turf races over 1 1/4 miles at Santa Anita start on the hillside turf course, with the first furlong run downhill.

Gozzip Girl, the winner of the American Oaks at Hollywood Park in July, but only third in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last Saturday, may not start at Santa Anita, trainer Tom Albertrani said on Wednesday. He said he is concerned about her weight.

"She lost a little bit of weight to and from Kentucky," he said. "We want to see how she trains. We'll decide in another day or two."

The Filly and Mare Turf may have only two Europeans - Dar Re Mi and Midday. Trainer John Gosden said on Wednesday that he has yet to decide whether Dar Re Mi will start in the Filly and Mare Turf or against males in the BC Turf on Nov. 7.