05/08/2005 11:00PM

Belmont: Emtyazat fresh, main speed


ELMONT, N.Y. - Favorites went a dismal 8 for 45 during the opening week of the Belmont spring meet, so handicappers may be reluctant to jump on a filly who finished fourth as the 3-5 choice in her last start.

But looks finally to be justifying her $850,000 purchase price and looms the main speed in Wednesday's $48,000 second-level allowance feature for 3-year-olds and up. There is a pick-six carryover of $42,387 entering the card.

After going winless in her first six starts, Emtyazat led gate to wire to win a maiden race at Calder by 10 3/4 lengths. Five weeks later, she cleared the entry-level allowance condition with another front-running score in a one-turn mile race at Gulfstream. Wednesday's race is also run as a one-turn mile.

In her last start, on March 10 at Gulfstream, Emtyazat again was on the front end, but tired badly in the stretch and finished fourth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths.

"The track was laboring that day, and that could have had a lot to do with it," said trainer Tom Albertrani. "Maybe she was tiring from a very deep racetrack."

Albertrani freshened Emtyazat after that race, and she enters this off a two-month layoff. Emtyazat won her maiden following a similar freshening. Eibar Coa, who went 7 for 25 opening week, has the call from the rail.

has won two straight races on the front end, but those were in two-turn, nine-furlong races where the pace is usually slower. Bayou Breeze gets a switch to Jerry Bailey for this race.

, a daughter of Unbridled, returns to the races off a five-month layoff for trainer Shug McGaughey. Smuggler won her first two races before finishing second at 1-2 in the Three Ring Stakes at Calder on Dec. 4. She emerged from that race with injured ankles.

Trainer Christophe Clement tries the dirt with Life, a French-bred filly who ran twice on turf at Gulfstream. Clement said that Life was unlucky in those races, and since she has trained well on dirt, he wants to give it a try.

Earlier on the card, Laurel Futurity winner Defer will try turf for the first time in a second-level allowance race at one mile. Defer disappointed in both the Hutcheson and Fountain of Youth on dirt, and McGaughey freshened him up. McGaughey said the distance and the conditions of this race were appropriate though he doesn't know how well Defer, a son of Danzig, will handle the turf.

Goleador and Not Phone are the most accomplished runners on the turf.