10/27/2008 11:00PM

Briecat finds a better spot on the lead


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Briecat faced a hopeless pace scenario Sunday in the $100,000 Cascapedia Stakes, until good judgment intervened. At seven furlongs on the Santa Anita Pro-Ride, in a field already loaded with heat, Briecat had little chance to carry her speed.

"I scratched her from the stakes because there was so much speed in there," trainer Vladimir Cerin explained.

Good move. Besides, he had an alternate plan.

Thursday at Hollywood Park, Briecat stretches to two turns in a second-level allowance for fillies and mares. This time, the pace scenario is entirely in her favor. Briecat is the lone speed.

"That's a not a bad thing," Cerin said.

Eight fillies and mares race for a purse of $49,000, and win or lose Briecat is the one they must catch. Her rivals include horse-for-course Street Match, 2 for 3 at Hollywood in spring; Double Dip, a low-rated winner of a first-level allowance last out; and Midwest shipper Wine and Dyne.

Briecat missed by a nose in a sprint stakes at Turf Paradise in her last start Oct. 4. By post time Thursday, she will have gone 26 days without a recorded work.

"She's two-minute-clipped a mile a couple times, she's fit," Cerin assured. "She is sharper than she's been in a long time."

In March, Briecat led wire to wire in the $75,000 Arizona Oaks at one mile. She then was overmatched in two graded stakes before she was freshened for four months. Owned by David and Holly Wilson, Briecat has won 2 of 7 and earned $77,740. Jon Court rides Briecat.

The only other 3-year-old in the field is Street Match.

Street Match won a maiden race and a first-level allowance at Hollywood in spring and is racing on her favorite track for the first time since then. Joe Talamo rides for trainer Bill Currin.

In the race 7 co-feature Thursday, a first-level allowance, Victor's Cry tries to accomplish the same thing as Briecat. That is, win on the stretch-out.

A field of seven entered the mile turf race for 3-year-olds. Victor's Cry finished a closing fourth last time in a first-level allowance sprint versus older, and technically is dropping in class Thursday to face his own age group.

Garrett Gomez takes over on Victor's Cry.