10/07/2003 11:00PM

As usual, Lukas will come to town with a contender


They haven't run a Breeders' Cup yet without trainer D. Wayne Lukas and they're not about to start now.

Lukas's participation in the 20th Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships was assured when Be Gentle won last Friday's Grade 2, $400,000 Darley Alcibiades by 5 1/2 lengths at Keeneland.

Lukas has won the Juvenile Fillies four times and has started 37 horses in that race since its inception in 1984. Lukas last won the race in 1999 with 32-1 shot Cash Run.

Be Gentle, a daughter of Tale of the Cat, had shown signs of quality sprinting when she won her maiden by 8 1/2 lengths and the Grade 3 Debutante by 1 1/4 lengths, both at Churchill Downs. After catching a sloppy track when fifth in the Schuylerville, she rebounded with a second-place finish to Ashado in the Grade 1 Spinaway.

In the Alcibiades, Be Gentle made the lead rather easily, got away with running a half-mile in 47.50 seconds, and cruised home an easy winner under Cornelio Velasquez. Velasquez, who has ridden only one horse in the Breeders' Cup, will retain the mount.

"I thought she looked better going two turns than she did one,'' Lukas said. "Because of the Tale of the Cat maybe it was a question mark to some, but I never thought it was. Frankly, watching her train and watching all of her races, I thought with her stride and style she would look better going two turns.''

Though the water gets much deeper in the Juvenile Fillies, Lukas feels that Be Gentle will make her presence felt against the heavily favored Halfbridled.

"She's earned that favoritism, but we're going to make it tough for her,'' Lukas said.

Lukas said he may also run Renaissance Lady in the Juvenile Fillies. Renaissance Lady, a daughter of A.P. Indy, was eased in the Oak Leaf. Lukas said Renaissance Lady got her tongue over the bit during the running of the race. "That problem is easily correctable,'' he said.

Trainer Allen Jerkens confirmed that Society Selection, winner of the Frizette Stakes last Saturday, would run in the Breeders' Cup. It would be the first appearance by Jerkens in the Breeders' Cup since 1994.

Tarlow and Hollywood Story, the second- and third-place finishers behind Halfbridled in the Grade 2 Oak Leaf, both put in workouts on Wednesday. Tarlow went a slow five furlongs in 1:04.30 at Santa Anita while Hollywood Story went five furlongs in 1:01.80 at Hollywood Park. Both fillies are trained by John Shirreffs.

Others expected to be pre-entered on Tuesday include Ashado, Class Above, Everyday Angel, Victory U. S. A., and Zosima.

Trainer Patrick Biancone said Whoopi Cat's participation in the Juvenile Fillies depends how she works this weekend.

Dream About, an 8 1/2-length winner of the Mazarine Stakes on Sept. 20 at Woodbine, is scheduled to run in Sunday's Princess Elizabeth at Woodbine. Trainer Josie Carroll said wheeling back in the Breeders' Cup is not out of the question.