07/25/2007 2:21AM

Day 1 Preview: Clinical Insanity


1)Forget the Judge got a horrendous ride when they met on Opening Day '06. 2)When both horses got clean trips in their second starts at the meeting last year, on consecutive days, they ran virtually identical raw times and speed figures while both winning at a mile, suggesting they're very close on raw ability. 3)Massoud is 5-2 on the morning line while Forget the Judge is 15-1.

Race 5: This older-maiden grass race at a mile and sixteenth on the inner turf has more question marks than The Riddler's costume. A lot of people are picking Borobudur, a Flaxman/Frankel import, because he's a half-brother to Aldebaran and Good Journey, but DRF's Alan Shuback is highly skeptical of the colt's Euroform ("Four tries in France suggest he is not nearly in their league; a line through Fastmambo indicates he is not improving.") Virginia Minstrel is the other consensus choice but comes off a pair of second-place finishes where he was blown out late. The Churchill shippers Terror on Track and Warn have been running subpar figures for this level. So instead of that bunch I'm going with three others. Rocket Legs (4-1 ML) and All Verses (10-1) emerge from a June 10 Belmont race that may have been much better than it first appeared. Buddy's Humor, the winner, ran second in the Lexington Stakes in his next start while improving his Beyer by 12 points, and runner-up Seastate improved 14 points winning his next start by almost seven lengths. Rocket Legs ran third and All Verses was just over a length behind him in fifth while making his career debut. I'll also use Runaway Banjo, not just because he's a ckinically insane 30-1 on the ML despite two decent fifths in fast dirt routes, but also because he's got plenty of grass in his pedigree.

Race 9: I don't remember ever seeing so many big figures for a field of 2-year-old fillies in July as in this 89th running of the Schuylerville. Five of them have already run a Beyer 84 or higher, including Subtle Aly's 97 at Churchill and According to Plan's 93 at Belmont. Is this a spectacularly precocious bunch or is it possible that the 4 1/2-furlong races at Churchill and the five-furlong races at Belmont were all coming up a little crazy-fast this year? It's something worth keeping an eye on as the meeting progresses.

Race 10: This filly statebred N1x allowance is a fascinating handicapping nightcap for several reasons: 1)ML favorite Court and Spark can certainly land a minor award, but is a chronic runner-up whose last race is nowhere near as good as it looks on paper. She benefitted greatly from a very quick pace that left the early duelers reeling and flattered her late-clunking move. 2)There is virtually no early speed in the field of 12, which includes five grass-to-dirt switchers. 3)The two most likely front-runners are returning from long layoffs with excellent worktabs. Behrdine has not been out since September but has a long string of good works over the Oklahoma training track here. The Chelsea Comet, making her first start since Saratoga '04, returns as a 6-year-old off a series of brillitant Monmouth workouts that make her look like an entirely new and different animal than she was three years ago.

Good luck. We'll need it today. I'll be back after sleep, seminar and scratches.