07/27/2007 1:31PM

Twilight Zone


Race 3: Randy Moss, in town for tomorrow's ESPN telecast of the four stakes including the Whitney, shared some interesting info at the Siro's seminar this morning on Like Now, originally listed at 10-1 ML before the scratches of First Word and Nar reduced the field to four. Moss said Kieran McLaughlin, trainer of the 2006 Gotham winner, coming off two mediocre races at Delaware, told him that Like Now hated the track there and that he expects a much better effort today.

Race 5: There's enough early speed in this 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint that I'm playing the race for a meltdown. Snowstalker (10-1 ML) has the best turf-sprint fig in the field, posted it in his career debut, and now turns back off two unsuccessful routes. Laser is another turnbacking bomb whose one gras route is better than it looks on paper, Gold Trippi has gate issues but a strong late dirt kick that might translate well to grass. EMirates to Dubai is the likely favorite and his style fits but he'll be an underlay so I'll use him reluctantly and defensively. (Speaking of the latter colt, isn't there supposed to be a ban on horse names that promote commercial enterprises? Allowing the Maktoums to name a colt Emirates to Dubai is like letting an American airline owner call a horse Delta to Cincinnati.)

Race 6: In a race where Rahys' Appeal towers over her statebred rivals on class and ability, Sabellina will be making her third start of the summer since getting in foal. The first time I ever heard a "will be racing in foal" announcement was in the 1981 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland, where Likely Exchange won the race while in foal to Rich Cream. The neat part is that the foal she was carrying turned out to be....wait for it....Creme Fraiche, the 1985 Belmont winner.

Race 7: Bobby Frankel scratched Silk Queen, who I loved at 10-1 ML, at least until seeing that Dave Litfin liked her for the exact same reasons and that she was going to be more like 3-1. In her absence, it's pretty wide open but I'm against ML favorite Flankers Lady, who got loose in (adjusted) slow fractions on a speed-favoring day at Calder and will have trouble escaping Dixie Dawn's early clutches. Dixie Dawn is worth using at a price -- you can draw a line through her 17-length loss last time out because she got into one of the most vicious pace duels of the Belmont meeting that day.

Race 8: Rutherienne is the marquee 3-year-old turf filly in the G3 Lake George and there's nothing wrong with her and her 5-for-6 record, but she's really not any faster than several others in the slightly better group she meets today. ML second choice Good Mood ran like a wild horse winning the Regret and earned a towering Beyer doing so, but she's an untrustworthy head case. So it might pay to spread out and get creative.

Race 9: Here's your late pick-four dilemma: If you want to spread out in the 7th and 8th, you'll probably have to narrow down here to the cut-above but unreliable favorites The Ag and Bella Atrice. Both have run races good enough to graduate this condition most of the time. If things break right early, though, it would be nice also to be alive to a few plausible bombs, such as Silver Elegance, Maria's Muse and Optimistic Jordan. The more weasels the better, unless you're a housecat.