08/22/2005 12:00AM

Blue Sunday won't mind the distance


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Theoretically, betting on the races would be so much easier if handicappers were afforded the opportunity to ask trainers key questions about their horses before placing a wager. Such as, does trainer Tom Albertrani think will stay the 1 1/8 miles of Wednesday's $150,000 Albany Stakes at Saratoga?

Most handicappers won't get the chance to talk with Albertrani before the Albany, but he was available and willing to give his opinion when asked exactly that question during training hours on Monday.

"I don't think the distance will be a problem," said Albertrani, who trains Blue Sunday for the Darley Stable. "I wasn't so sure it was possible to control his speed following his race in the Mike Lee, when he was drawn inside and under a lot of pressure while contesting a 44.40 [second] opening half-mile. But I am a lot more confident after he appeared to rate a lot kinder for Jerry [Bailey] in his last start here earlier this month."

Blue Sunday has won 3 of his 5 career starts, each of the victories coming by wide margins, including a 3 3/4-length second-level allowance triumph when turning back to six furlongs at Saratoga on Aug. 4. He earned a career-high 107 Beyer Speed Figure for his last victory, two points higher than the 105 mark he earned in winning a similar allowance sprint at Belmont on May 13.

Albertrani expects to see Blue Sunday on the lead in the Albany.

"I have no problem with him being in front, and that's where he'll probably wind up coming off all those sprints," Albertrani said.

Bailey will be back aboard Blue Sunday, who carries 115 pounds.

Naughty New Yorker, Accountforthegold, and Gold and Roses, all New York-bred stakes winners this summer, will renew acquaintances in the Albany. Mr. Malaprop and Carminooch complete the lineup.

Naughty New Yorker benefited from a hotly contested pace in the Mike Lee, rallying from far back to a 2 1/4-length victory, but was a nonthreatening third three weeks later in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

Accountforthegold led throughout in a three-length upset against Gold and Roses and Naughty New Yorker in the New York Derby, and will likely press Blue Sunday on the pace in the Albany.

Gold and Roses teamed with jockey Edgar Prado for the first time and splashed to an easy 6 3/4-length victory over Galloping Grocer in the Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Stakes on Aug. 3.