10/08/2010 3:17PM

Briecat will see if her speed can hold

Benoit & Associates
Briecat wins the 2009 Adoration Stakes

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Five fillies and mares entered the $55,000 Swingtime Stakes on Sunday at Hollywood Park, where the restricted race boils down to one basic question.

Can front-runner Briecat race gate to wire at one mile on turf?

“If you can win on the lead, then she’ll win again,” trainer Vladimir Cerin said.

Briecat won the $50,000 Las Madrinas Handicap in front-running fashion two weeks ago on dirt at Fairplex Park, and will try similar strategy Sunday against consistent presser Burg Berg, allowance-caliber Ruffled Feathers and Oui Say Oui, and Value Stream.

Briecat is the one to catch.

“She’s so fast early, she should be able to shake loose,” Cerin said. “And then we’ll see down the lane.”

Briecat has won 7 races and $366,165 from 22 starts, including the Grade 2 Bayakoa on the Hollywood main track in 2008. Cerin is using the Swingtime as a segue to the Bayakoa on Dec. 5. Briecat is 6 for 16 on the main track, 1 for 6 on turf.

“Her win percent on turf is not as good, but she has won on turf,” Cerin said, referring to a 2008 stakes at Turf Paradise. Briecat, owned by David and Holly Wilson, will be ridden by Alonso Quinonez.

If the race unfolds as expected, Burg Berg is the most likely winner. Trained by Paco Gonzalez, the 3 for 15 filly finished second in four successive turf races before a fourth-place finish last out on Polytrack at Del Mar.

Burg Berg has made 11 turf starts, with 2 wins and 4 seconds. Rafael Bejarano rides Burg Berg, who should be positioned alone in second. Her recent races make her a perfect fit for the conditions. The Swingtime is restricted to fillies and mares who have not won a $60,000 stakes race at a mile or more in 2010.

Burg Berg finished second by a head in an $82,000 stakes one start back and previously missed by half-length in a Grade 2. If she reproduces either of those efforts, Burg Berg and jockey Rafael Bejarano can win the Swingtime with a first-over trip.

Ruffled Feathers, winner of a two-other-than allowance race one start back, might be the best late threat. After losing her first seven starts, the Paddy Gallagher trainee has won 4 of her last 9. Corey Nakatani is scheduled to ride.

Oui Say Oui is 2 for 17 and will be running late under Brice Blanc, while 3-for-20 Value Stream seems to have tailed off.