08/14/2007 11:00PM

Can't toss even one of these

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - With Lake George Stakes winner Rutherienne headed to Southern California this weekend, Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Lake Placid Stakes has become a wide-open affair with nary a throwout among the eight 3-year-old fillies entered.

Christmas Kid, trained by Jimmy Jerkens, is a stakes winner on conventional dirt, Polytrack, and turf, and comes off a third-place finish behind Dreaming of Anna in the $200,000 Virginia Oaks on turf at Colonial Downs.

"I thought it was a good effort," Jerkens said. "A quality filly setting a slow pace, and every time she would try her, the other one kept getting away. It kind of takes a horse's heart away when they keep doing that. But I thought she battled on pretty good."

Jerkens isn't sure what surface Christmas Kid prefers, but he does think that at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Lake Placid, the turf is the better choice.

"She might be able to go a little further on the turf because of the two turns and you're going a little easier pace-wise," Jerkens said. "She had a beautiful breeze here on Monday on the dirt."

Christmas Kid figures to lay close to what figures to be a modest pace. None of the eight fillies is considered a legitimate front-runner, though Sharp Susan did win the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream in gate-to-wire fashion and did set the pace in the Boiling Springs, a race at Monmouth Park in which she finished third, but was put up to second by the stewards.

In her last race, Sharp Susan was 10 lengths off a fast pace before rolling home late to finish third, a half-length behind Rutherienne.

"She rated well last time," trainer Bill Mott said. "It was the kindest she's been. She was just rank in the Boiling Springs. There have been a couple of races where she's just used herself up."

Lady Attack, trained by Neil Howard, was beaten just a neck in the Lake George, rallying from next to last under Calvin Borel. Howard is hoping Lady Attack will lay closer to the pace this time and also feels the nine furlongs is a plus for his filly.

"I feel like she's got the pedigree for it, and she's making a nice progression in each race, and she's trained good since the race," Howard said. "We like the fact she's had a race over the grass here."

Completing the field are Christie's Treasure, second to Sharp Susan in a February allowance race, Communique, Clifton Bay, New Edition, and Limoncella.