08/04/2004 11:00PM

Classy Migration vs. Weigelia again


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - George Mikhalides has trained many stakes winners for Buckram Oak Farm in Europe, but none in this country. Mikhalides, who moved to the United States from France in May 2003, is hoping that changes in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Amsterdam at Saratoga.

Mikhalides trains Classy Migration, the runner-up in the Grade 3 Carry Back at Calder on July 10. Classy Migration is among seven 3-year-olds entered in the Amsterdam, a stepping-stone to the Grade 1 King's Bishop on Aug. 28.

In the six-furlong Amsterdam, Classy Migration gets eight pounds from Weigelia, who beat him by a half-length in the Carry Back and carries 123 pounds. In the Carry Back, Classy Migration carried 112 pounds, five fewer than Weigelia.

In addition to the Calder invaders, five others are entered: Bwana Charlie, third in the Carry Back; Pomeroy, the winner of the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup; Smokume; Quick Action; and Mass Media.

Weigelia was all out to catch Classy Migration, the pacesetter, in the final yards of the Carry Back. Mikhalides said Pat Day, who rode Classy Migration, told him that Classy Migration "didn't feel 100 percent switching leads."

Mikhalides, who noted he didn't find anything physically wrong with Classy Migration, added, "He loves a fast track, and the track here should be an advantage for him."

Classy Migration is the likely pacesetter from the rail, with Day aboard.

Weigelia, trained by Manny Azpurua, has won 5 of 11 lifetime starts and is coming off a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 108 in the Carry Back.

"I hope we get the top prize, because he is doing very good," Azpurua said.

Abel Toribio Jr. rides Weigelia, who figures to be stalking the pace after breaking from post 2.

Among the local runners, Pomeroy looks like he has the best shot at defeating the Florida invaders. If the track is wet, he could be the one to beat.

Pomeroy won the Jersey Shore at Monmouth by four lengths June 26 over a fast track. Pomeroy set the pace in the Jersey Shore, but probably will have to concede the early lead here to Classy Migration.

"[Pomeroy] has a natural cruising speed," said his trainer, Patrick Biancone, who won the Amsterdam last year with Zavata.

Bobby Frankel, 0 for 5 in stakes at the meet, will saddle Mass Media, who is coming off a half-length win in a second-level allowance race. On Monday, Mass Media worked five furlongs in company with stablemate Ghostzapper, completing the work in 59.42 seconds.