08/30/2006 11:00PM

Bright Pyrite has tactical edge in De Bartolo


Ten Ohio-bred distaffers will match strides over 1 1/8 miles in the $75,000 Rose De Bartolo Memorial Stakes at Thistledown on Saturday.

Certain to draw a great deal of support from the betting public will be Bright Pyrite, Patti's Clown, and Bold Passage.

Bright Pyrite finished 11th in the Vivacious Handicap on turf at River Downs in her last start Aug. 12, but before that she strung together three wins - two in allowance races and one in the 1 1/16-mile Petro Memorial here June 24. She has tactical speed and will be tough to beat if she runs her race.

Patti's Clown scored a wire-to-wire victory in the Vivacious and can be expected to set the pace in the De Bartolo. She was fourth in this race last year, beaten five lengths by Girlish Giggle, who is one of her rivals today.

Bold Passage was steadily gaining ground before finishing second, beaten a half-length, to Patti's Clown in the Vivacious. Three of her six starts this year have been in optional claimers at Arlington.

Imahoneytoo was unplaced in the Vivacious but has hit the board in four of six starts this season. Her lone win this year came in the T.F. Classen Memorial going six furlongs here May 27. She has proven ability around two turns and should be part of the early pace.

Girlish Giggle won this race last year and has a second and a third among her three 2006 starts. Thistledown's leading rider, Scott Spieth, will ride for trainer W. John Bourke.

All starters will carry 122 pounds, except Cryptoville, who will carry 119.

Great Lakes: Three shots for Gorham

A field of nine 2-year-old fillies has been assembled for the $50,000 Temptress Stakes at Great Lakes Downs on Saturday. The Temptress is a six-furlong dash for Michigan-bred fillies and is the first juvenile stakes of the season. It is the fifth race on the card, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

Trainer Robert Gorham sends out three horses, including two who are owned by Mast Thoroughbreds LLC: Dublin Dutchess, who won her only start July 3, and the maiden Tinsel Time, who makes her second start. Gorham also sends Tropic Rose, a first-time starter owned by Marion Gorham. Tropic Rose will race as a separate betting interest. Leading rider Terry Houghton has the return call on Dublin Dutchess.

Stelvio, trained by Gerald Bennett, was third to Dublin Dutchess on July 3, but came back two weeks later to win a maiden special weight by 3 1/4 lengths after being steadied at the quarter pole. Bennett has also entered Circe, who will race uncoupled with Stelvio.

Hoagy the Great lost to Stelvio in her July 3 debut, but bounced back to win her maiden Aug. 14.

- C.A. Shoemaker

Timonium: Relief for Dance Fee

There is no Kentucky Oaks winner, no Grade 1 stakes filly in the $50,000 Alma North at Timonium, and that should come as a relief to trainer Michael Gorham and as class relief for his mare Dance Fee.

Dance Fee finished fifth and last in a restricted stakes at Saratoga, the Ashado, which came up loaded. Summerly, the 2005 Kentucky Oaks winner, won that Aug. 4 race, with the Grade 1 winner In the Gold finishing third. If nothing else, that race should have been a perfect Alma North prep for Dance Fee, who hadn't raced since finishing second in the Rooney Memorial at Delaware on June 3.

At about 6 1/2 furlongs, the Alma North is a bit shorter than Dance Fee's comfort zone. But it's a two-turn race on Timonium's five-furlong oval, and Dance Fee, who breaks from the outside post 8, should get a nice trip stalking likely pacesetter Spirited Game.

Spirited Game figures to grab the lead from post 2. She had the lead by a head in midstretch of her last start, the six-furlong Candy Eclair July 4 at Monmouth, but couldn't hold on and finished third.

Grant's Moon won the Alma North last year, and she's a late-running threat to do it again. She failed to win in six starts, all stakes, following the Alma North, but ended that streak with a 2 1/4-length optional claiming score at Pimlico in her last start June 2.

- Ira Kaplan

Fairmount: Battle of unbeatens

Caruso, Custom Cart, Barley Beliveable, and Scary Thoughts were all authoritative winners of their debuts this summer at Arlington Park. Whoever is best among those four undefeated Illinois-bred 2-year-olds will be decided in the $40,000 Troy Our Boy Stakes at Fairmount Park at six furlongs.

Despite winning his debut by four lengths, compared to the six-length win margins posted by his three primary rivals, Scary Thoughts might be a slight favorite in the Troy Our Boy based on his winning Beyer of 68, the highest in the field. Scary Thoughts also has a favorable pedigree - he is a half-brother to Out of Options, a mare who has won multiple Illinois stakes - and unlike the other three, Scary Thoughts has had a race within the last six weeks.

Still, the outcome of the Troy Our Boy is not so cut and dried, especially since three of the four main contenders are front-runners. Barley Beliveable won his maiden gate to wire, and Caruso and Scary Thoughts both pressed the pace before drawing off in their victories. That leaves Custom Cart, the slowest of the Arlington maiden winners, with a winning Beyer of 56, potentially in the catbird seat rating a couple of lengths behind the top three.

Another gelding sure to appreciate a contested pace is the maiden Cruising Cart. Cruising Cart adds Lasix for the Troy Our Boy and has posted a bullet work over the Fairmount surface since his last start.

- Vance Hanson