11/01/2007 12:00AM

Cher Ami tries stretching her speed

EmailMIAMI - Can Cher Ami carry her abundant speed around two turns? That is the key to solving the riddle of Saturday's $50,000 Runaway Marcie Stakes at Calder, an overnight test for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on the main track.

Cher Ami has used her high speed to win 3 of her last 4 starts, all stakes - the victories coming in gate-to-wire fashion by margins of 10 lengths, 5 1/2 lengths, and 2 3/4 lengths at distances ranging from six to 6 1/2 furlongs. She got her most recent win when returning from a three-month layoff in the Lady Sonata Stakes on Oct. 14. Cher Ami's only loss since spring came in graded stakes company in the Azalea Breeders' Cup run over a sloppy track at Calder this summer.

Cheri Ami, trained by Larry Bates, will try to stretch her speed around two turns for only the second time in the Runaway Marcie. The first attempt came over the turf at Tampa Bay Downs last winter when she was given little chance to succeed after being hauled well off the early pace from the outset of a second-level allowance race.

Cher Ami will see plenty of familiar rivals in the starting gate for the Runaway Marcie. Three of her victims from the Lady Sonata - Pretoria Light, Lucky Too and Suaveness - are all in, hoping the added distance will improve their results in the rematch.

Pretoria Light chased Cher Ami from start to finish in their previous encounter, easily finishing second while earning a career-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure. She, too, has yet to win at a distance of ground on dirt, but she did cross the finish line first and was disqualified going two turns on the grass here at 2.

Lucky Too showed early foot before fading to fourth in the Lady Sonata and is another unproven at the distance.

Suaveness finished far back in the Lady Sonata and has tailed off since finishing second in the Grade 3 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 5.

Casa Mimaty, like Cher Ami, is at her best when loose on the lead. She returns to the main track for the first time since registering a seven-length victory in the one-mile Strikethedancer Stakes over a wet track on July 7.

Silkily also has an early turn of foot, having won two allowance races at 1 1/16 miles from just off the pace against older horses during the Calder meet.