06/22/2009 12:00AM

Short field for Mother Goose

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer
Rachel Alexandra gets her final workout before the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes on Monday morning at Churchill Downs.

ELMONT, N.Y. - It appears as though there will be only three challengers for Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra in Saturday's Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park. Justwhistledixie will not be among them.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin confirmed Monday that the multiple graded stakes winner Justwhistledixie would skip the Mother Goose and be pointed to the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 8. The Test is run at seven furlongs. Justwhistledixie, who scratched out of the Kentucky Oaks the afternoon of the race due to a bruised foot, had a five-race winning streak snapped when she finished second as the 4-5 favorite in the Acorn on June 7.

"It's a little quick back for her, and we're trying to pick the ideal spot for her," McLaughlin said. "August 8th, Grade 1 Test should set up perfect for a come-from-behind sprinter."

Prior to the Acorn, Justwhistledixie had won the Davona Dale and Bonnie Miss - both Grade 2 stakes at Gulfstream Park.

McLaughlin had three other fillies nominated to the Mother Goose, but said none is up for the challenge of taking on Rachel Alexandra, who has won five consecutive races.

Those expected to be entered against Rachel Alexandra on Wednesday, when post positions are drawn, are Flashing, winner of the Grade 3 Nassau County; Don't Forget Gil, winner of the Grade 3 Florida Oaks; and Malibu Prayer, who has won her last two starts by a combined 20 1/4 lengths - the exact margin of Rachel Alexandra's Kentucky Oaks victory.

On Monday at Churchill Downs, Rachel Alexandra completed preparations for the Mother Goose, a one-turn race run at nine furlongs, when she worked four furlongs in 49.80 seconds over a fast main track. Exercise rider Dominic Terry was up for the move, which Churchill clockers timed in fractions of 13 seconds, 25, and 37.40. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.40. Calvin Borel will ride Rachel Alexandra for the seventh consecutive time in the Mother Goose.

"The filly went beautiful this morning," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "She looked very happy."

Rachel Alexandra was expected to arrive at Belmont Park late Tuesday afternoon after a flight from Kentucky.

On Saturday, Flashing worked five furlongs in 59.55 seconds over Belmont's main track, while Malibu Prayer covered the same distance in 1:00.80.

Gabby's Golden Gal to Prioress

Acorn winner Gabby's Golden Gal was nominated to the Mother Goose, but trainer Bob Baffert has her pointed in a different direction. Speaking by phone from California on Monday, Baffert said Gabby's Golden Gal would make her next start in the Grade 1 Prioress at six furlongs here July 4 and then the Test on Aug. 8.

"She's on the Indian Blessing route," Baffert said, referring to the filly who won both the Prioress and Test last year en route to being crowned champion female sprinter.

Gabby's Golden Gal suffered from heat exhaustion immediately after the Acorn but has since bounced back and worked a half-mile in 47.10 seconds Saturday over Belmont's main track. It was the fastest of 73 works at the distance.

"She ran hard, bounced out of it good," said Baffert, who has the filly stabled with trainer John Terranova and his wife, Tonja, at Belmont. "She worked great the other day, she's right on schedule. We haven't seen any aftereffects from it. She looks good."

Meanwhile, Baffert said Indian Blessing would likely ship to New York from California on June 30 and be pointed to the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga on Aug. 29. Baffert said Indian Blessing came out of her fourth-place finish in the Desert Stormer at Hollywood Park on Juneo14 with a minor hind leg infection but appears to be doing better now.

"That little race got her juices flowing," Baffert said. "She looks better after the race than going into it. She sort of woke up a little bit. She was a little flat that day, didn't show up. That's weird for her."

Godolphin juggles schedule for trio

Things did not go according to plan the last two weeks for Godolphin Racing's trio of Grade 1-winning older females, so there may a new plan in place for them.

Seventh Street, second in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on June 13, will most likely make her next start in the Grade 1 Go for Wand at Saratoga on Aug. 2.

"The only other real option with her is to wait for the Ballerina - that's a long time to wait," said Rick Mettee, who oversees Godolphin's New York string. "The timing of the Go for Wand is good, it's two turns. Sometimes two turns may be a little easier on a [speed] filly like her in that you won't run into a pace scenario like you had the other day. I would think that her and Seattle Smooth would probably keep the field relatively down."

Seventh Street may be joined in the Go for Wand by Cocoa Beach, who finished last, though beaten just three lengths, in Sunday's Floral Park Heatherten Stakes here. That was Cocoa Beach's first race since winning the Grade 1 Matriarch on turf at Hollywood Park last November. Ideally, Cocoa Beach was going to run in the Grade 1 Diana, a 1 1/8-mile race on turf on Aug. 1.

Mettee said jockey Ramon Dominguez told him that Cocoa Beach was pulling quite hard in the early stages of Sunday's race. Dominguez also felt the filly was done by the middle of the far turn.

"The way she got to pulling in the race, you just don't know that nine furlongs on turf might be the best place for her to run," Mettee said. "She was fresh, but she did get to laying in down the lane, which is unlike her."

Mettee said Music Note, who finished fifth in the Phipps in her 4-year-old debut, came out of the race with some stiffness behind. Plans for her are uncertain. She simply jogged last week and will most likely do the same this week, Mettee said.