06/23/2005 11:00PM

Blue Sunday may do well to stalk


ELMONT, N.Y. - It has been 10 months since Blue Sunday opened eyes with a 15-length maiden victory in his debut at Saratoga. Though he has run only twice since, Blue Sunday looms a solid favorite in Sunday's $100,000 Mike Lee Handicap for New York-bred 3-year-olds.

The Mike Lee, run at seven furlongs, is the first leg of the OTBs' Big Apple Triple, which includes the $125,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes on July 16 and the $150,000 Albany Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 24. If a horse wins all three races, he will earn his owner a bonus of $250,000.

, a $350,000 son of A. P Jet owned by Darley Stable, has won two races by a combined 23 lengths and was beaten a head in his other start. An ankle chip sidelined him last fall, and a lung infection forced him to miss a race in April. Blue Sunday made up for lost time with an eight-length score while racing out of condition in a second-level statebred allowance race on May 13.

After racing within a half-length of Rob's Boy Mat though a half-mile in 45.47 seconds, Blue Sunday drew away in the stretch. He covered six furlongs in 1:09.76 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 105.

Blue Sunday's ability to stalk may come in handy on Sunday, as Big Apple Daddy and Gold and Roses both have good early speed. Blue Sunday starts from post 3 under Jerry Bailey and 117 pounds, a six-pound concession from stakes winners Sort It Out, Bold Decision, and Gold and Roses.

"I don't think he necessarily needs the lead," said Tom Albertrani, trainer of Blue Sunday. "The last time he was in hand, just dragging Jerry up there on his own."

enters the Mike Lee off a 9 3/4-length second-level allowance win going seven furlongs on May 29. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 103. Two starts back, Big Apple Daddy finished a half-length behind Gold and Roses in the New York Stallion Stakes at a mile.

"I think this is his best distance," trainer Bruce Levine said of the seven furlongs.

has 3 wins and 2 seconds since trainer Tom Bush added blinkers to his equipment.

Sort It Out beat Naughty New Yorker, who also runs in the Mike Lee, by a neck in the Whirlaway Stakes in February. Both would appear to want more distance.