08/20/2010 1:14PM

Check the Label goes for four in a row in Lake Placid

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Barbara D. Livingston
Check the Label will be tough to beat in the Garden City at Belmont on Saturday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Graham Motion believes Check the Label continues to improve. If that trend continues, Check the Label’s five opponents in Sunday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga could be in serious trouble.

Check the Label seeks her fourth consecutive graded stakes victory in the Lake Placid, scheduled for 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf, against a field which has yet to win a stakes. Check the Label overcame trouble to win both the Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont and Grade 3 Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs.

“She’s kind of got in a little bit of trouble the last two times, but she’s got that turn of foot where she can get out of it,” Motion said.

And that turn of foot is effective regardless of pace. In the Virginia Oaks, Check the Label got off slowly under Ramon Dominguez and trailed the field behind slow early fractions. She advanced steadily around the far turn, had to wait for an opening in the stretch, then burst on through when a hole opened.

“I know she didn’t beat the group of fillies she’s running against on Sunday but she certainly did it with authority,” Motion said. “I don’t know if its confidence or maturity or a combination of them both. I think it’s great Ramon knows her so well now and has such confidence in her. He was really thrown in a tough spot last time and she overcame it. She broke awkwardly, she could have been compromised.’’

Exclusive Love and No Explaining finished second and third, respectively, behind Perfect Shirl in the Lake George here on July 28. No Explaining, who gets a switch from Jose Lezcano to John Velazquez, should appreciate the 1 1/8 miles of this race.

It’s Tea Time, trained by Rusty Arnold, won a first-level allowance over this course on Aug. 1. She doesn’t have much speed, but “she’s got that one really nice run in her,” Arnold said. “It worries you in a small field sometimes but that’s what it is.”

Triple Cream, owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, comes in off a third and second in a pair of stakes at Monmouth. Trainer Jimmy Toner is adding blinkers to her equipment on Sunday.

“She just runs even all time,” Toner said. “We felt ‘Let’s try blinkers’. She’s trained well with them on.”

Hatheer, who won a first-level allowance at Belmont, completes the field.

The Lake Placid is carded as race 4 on a 10-race program that includes five claiming races.