09/26/2006 11:00PM

Western showdown in Lady's Secret: Healthy Addiction vs. Hollywood Story


The East has produced the bulk of the expected starters for this year's $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff, but the action will shift west on Sunday, when Healthy Addiction and Hollywood Story make their final push toward the race in the Grade 2, $250,000 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita.

The Lady's Secret, at 1 1/16 miles, had a probable field of five on Wednesday, said racing secretary Rick Hammerle. Healthy Addiction is the 120-pound highweight off a win over Happy Ticket in the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch at Del Mar on Aug. 6.

"She's done great," said John Sadler, who trains Healthy Addiction. "She had a nice work here the other day, and Santa Anita is one of her favorite tracks, so we're solid."

Healthy Addiction is the defending champ in the Lady's Secret, and she will face longtime rivals Star Parade and Hollywood Story, the third- and fourth-place finishers in the Hirsch. Hollywood Story, winner of the Grade 1 Vanity over Healthy Addiction in July, has trained well for the rematch Sunday.

"I think she's going in the right direction," said John Shirreffs, who trains Hollywood Story.

Trainer Todd Pletcher will have multiple runners in several Breeders' Cup races, but his strongest hand is arguably in the Distaff, where he will send Spun Sugar, Fleet Indian, and Pool Land. The three have combined to win 12 of 15 starts this year, including eight graded stakes.

Spun Sugar, who owns Grade 1 wins in the Apple Blossom and Go for Wand, will make her next start in the Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster at Keeneland on Oct. 8. Fleet Indian, who is 5 for 5 this year, including a Grade 1 score in the Personal Ensign, will run in the Grade 1, $600,000 Beldame on Oct. 7. Pool Land, who just won the Grade 1 Ruffian at Belmont, will run in either the Beldame or train up to the Distaff, Pletcher said.

Take D'Tour, who finished second to Pool Land in the Ruffian, will run in the Beldame, as will Round Pond, who won the Acorn at Belmont as a 3-year-old. Round Pond was second by a head in the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth on Aug. 27.

Pine Island and Bushfire are the leading 3-year-olds targeting the Distaff. Pine Island, winner of the Alabama and Gazelle, will train up to the Distaff for Shug McGaughey.

Bushfire, who won the Ashland, Acorn, and Mother Goose, will run in the Spinster or train up to the Distaff, trainer Eddie Kenneally said. Balletto will have one more start before the Distaff. Trainer Tom Albertrani said Balletto is 50-50 between the Beldame and Spinster.

Happy Ticket is now stabled at Keeneland after flying in earlier this week from Louisiana. Trainer Andrew Leggio said Happy Ticket could run in the Spinster if she works well on the Polytrack on Sunday. The alternate plan is the Beldame.

- additional reporting by David Grening