02/16/2008 2:19PM

The Lineup 2/16/08


Only three graded stakes on the Saturday calendar, but one of them kicks off a Magna 5 with a $265k carry and another is the centerpiece of an interesting all-stakes pick-three at Tampa Bay Downs.

3:46 pm ET, Tam race 8: $75k Suncoast S., 3F 1m+40y
The Suncoast looked to me like the trickiest of the three Tampa stakes. Sunday Holiday is the 8-5 ML favorite dropping off three graded-stakes efforts including a third in the G1 Frizette, but her career-best Beyer of 75 gives her no edge in this field and she was in no danger of actually winning in those classier spots. The problem is that the second and third choices, Vaulcluse and My Baby Baby, have done all their running on slop or turf. A longshot to consider is 15-1 No Use Denying, who earned a lowly 53 Beyer in her lone start but that was over a very muddy Laurel track in a race where 6 of the 8 who have run back improved their figure sharply in their next start. Formal Arrangement at 15-1 also is useable stretching out off two stakes sprints over the track. I'm going five deep.

4:14 pm ET, Tam race 9: G3 $150k Endeavour S., 4+F, 1 1/16m-T
Grade 1 dirt winners Dreaming of Anna ('06 BC Juvenile Fillies) and Lear's Princess ('07 Gazelle) make their season debuts on the turf. Dreaming of Anna is more accomplished on grass and her speed gives her a tactical advantage, but Lear's Princess has every right to turn into one of the nation's best grass fillies this year. Her two grass starts before hitting the dirt last year were exhilirating last-to-first efforts. Late-running Meribel is the only other entrant in the favorites' league. Take the Ribbon and Lil's Lassie are scratched.

4:39 pm ET, Lrl race 10: G2 $300k Barbara Fritchie H., 4+F, 7f
The Magna 5 starts here with a field of 8 following the early scratches of longshots Take a Check and Devil House. Can't argue with those who will single Control Panel, the 8-5 ML choice off two straight Aqueduct stakes romps and a 5-for-7 record, but I'd like some insurance since she's trying 7f and graded-stakes company for the first time. So I'll back up with Rick Dutrow's uncoupled pair of Baby Bird and Oprah Winney, who have spotty form but would be competitive on their best days.

The rest of the Magna 5 sequence:

Leg B, race 4, SA: 3yo, N1x, a6.5f-T
Leg C, race 9, GP: 3F, N1x, 1m
Leg D, race 5, SA: OM, Cl $12.5k, 1 1/16m
Leg E, race 10, GP: 3yo, MdCl $25k, 6f

4:46 pm ET, Tam race 10: $200k Sam F. Davis, 3yo, 1 1/6m
With Bluegrass Cat and Any Given Saturday emerging from the last two runnings, and graded winners Z Humor and Smooth Air in this year's field, the ungraded Davis deserves a long look for upgrading next year. Z Humor, third to War Pass and Pyro in the Champagne and the (dead-heat) winner of the Delta Jackpot, may simply lay over this field. I'm against Smooth Air, who got a perfect meltdown setup winning the G2 Hutcheson in the slop, so will back up primarily with Wise Answer and just a dash of Big Truck.

7:07 pm ET, SA race 8: G2 $150k San Carlos H., 4+M, 7f
This field of seven older sprinters has four contenders grouped between 5-2 and 4-1 and three double-digit longshots it's hard to make a case for. Of the four bunched favorites, I'll play against Circular Quay, who will be coming from the clouds off a six-month layoff in a field without much speed, and against Johnny Eves, whose speed makes him dangerous but will be overbet off two gritty but slow efforts. Instead I'll go with Surf Cat, who should improve sharply second off a layoff, and Greg's Gold, who should be stalking Johnny Eves and may be at his best going 7f.