Updated on 09/16/2011 7:28AM

Critical Eye a two-surface threat


ELMONT, N.Y. - Last year, when the Sheepshead Bay was rained off the turf, Critical Eye used the surface switch to her advantage and flew home a 7 1/2-length winner under a hand ride in the mud. Critical Eye will be entered in Saturday's Sheepshead Bay at Belmont Park, and might even run if the race remains on the grass.

Wednesday, Critical Eye's trainer, Scott Schwartz, said his mare will definitely start if rain forces the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay to the main track - scattered storms are in Friday's forecast - and is 80 percent to run on grass.

As a 3-year-old in 2000, Critical Eye won two allowance races over Belmont's turf. But Critical Eye's biggest wins have taken place on dirt, where she has won two Grade 1 races at Belmont, the Gazelle and Hempstead, since renamed the Ogden Phipps. After her victory in the 2001 Sheepshead Bay, Critical Eye returned three weeks later and scored an upset in the Hempstead with her a neck win over Jostle.

Schwartz, who would like to make the Phipps, said the Sheepshead Bay's 1 3/8-mile distance suits his New York-bred champion, regardless of the surface on which it is run.

"She has the credentials to run well on the turf, being a Dynaformer," said Schwartz, who trains Critical Eye for his father and stepmother, Herbert and Carol Schwartz. "She can run all day and I think she'll grass as good as she gets the dirt. I've always been a big proponent of turf to dirt starts. Turf wakes them up."

If the Sheepshead Bay is run on turf, Critical Eye will carry 113 pounds. Her weight assignment for the dirt is 122 pounds.

The Sheepshead Bay, which doesn't look like a killer race, might prove to be the ideal spot for Critical Eye to become a graded winner on turf. Critical Eye's chief rivals are probably Mot Juste, a Group 1-placed runner, and Sweetest Thing, the Grade 3 Bewitch winner.

You getting Frankel excited

You, a dull fourth in the Kentucky Oaks, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.33 Wednesday at Belmont Park, a move that had trainer Bobby Frankel beaming afterward. You is being pointed to the one-mile, Grade 1 Acorn on June 7.

"She's been doing really well since she's been here," Frankel said. "She's started to blossom here. She started to gain weight finally. I'm happy with her. Maybe this is her time of year."

You went into the Kentucky Oaks off Grade 1 victories in the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks. She stalked the pace in the Kentucky Oaks, but had little left for the stretch drive.

"The Kentucky Oaks may have been too far for her at the time and the Acorn's a perfect fit," Frankel said.

Lido Palace, Frankel's top handicap horse on the East Coast, worked six furlongs in 1:16.61 as he gets ready for the $500,000 Suburban Handicap on July 6. "I'll put a pair of blinkers on and he'll get more serious," Frankel said.

Alchemilla will get tested for class

Alchemilla, who will make her stakes debut in the $250,000 Acorn, worked three furlongs in 38.42 seconds, breezing, at Belmont on Wednesday.

Alchemilla has won 3 of 4 starts for trainer Shug McGaughey and her owners, Helen Alexander and Helen Groves.

In her last start, Alchemilla defeated older fillies in a second-level allowance race by 6 3/4 lengths at Belmont on May 10.

McGaughey said he is looking forward to trying Alchemilla against stakes horses in the Acorn, a race he has won twice.

"She's getting better all the time," McGaughey said. "We fought some things with her during the winter. She was horsing all the time and that was affecting her and her feet were bothering her, but we got that under control."

Poker or Tom Fool next for 'Success'

Affirmed Success, who finished fourth in Monday's Metropolitan Handicap, came out of the race in good order, according to trainer Richard Schosberg, and will be pointed to either the $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap, a seven-furlong dirt race on July 4, or the $100,000 Poker Handicap, a mile turf race on July 5.

Affirmed Success has won the last two runnings of the Poker and was second in the 1999 Tom Fool.

"It's a tough decision," Schosberg said. "It'd be nice to try and win the Poker three years in a row. He's so good right now at seven furlongs, it's hard to pass up the Tom Fool."

In regards to the Met Mile, Schosberg said he was hoping Affirmed Success could have gotten got covered up early, but with all the speed horses maintaining their same paths coming out of the gate, Affirmed Success found himself forwardly placed in between horses.

"When he's in between horses like that he's going to battle it out," Schosberg said. "I thought all in all it was a gallant effort. It didn't shape up the way we hoped it'd shape up."

- Summer Note, who looked awesome winning an allowance here on May 17 in his first start in 28 months, is under consideration for the $150,000 True North Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day. The long-range goal for Summer Note is the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Arlington Park in the fall.

- E Dubai, with jockey John Velazquez up, worked six furlongs in 1:14.23 Wednesday morning over Belmont's main track. E Dubai will be nominated to the Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont and the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill, both to be run on June 15.

- additional reporting by David Grening