08/23/2009 11:00PM

Dance Gal Dance looks sharp


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Dance Gal Dance was brilliant winning the Fleet Indian Stakes here Aug. 3, but the race trainer Tim Ritvo really has been pointing the New York-bred 4-year-old filly to this summer is Monday's $70,000 Union Avenue Stakes for statebreds.


"This is actually the spot we were looking for when we came up. This is the one we wanted," Ritvo said.

The Union Avenue is at six furlongs, a distance at which Dance Gal Dance has 4 wins and 1 second from 5 starts. Her only loss at the distance came to J Z Warrior in the Glowing Honor Stakes at Belmont on June 5. Not only was that race against open company, but it was Dance Gal Dance's first start in 13 months.

Since then, Dance Gal Dance has won two statebred sprint stakes. In Under Serviced, who has won 5 of 7 starts, Dance Gal Dance faces a tough rival, though one coming off a 10-month layoff for Bob Baffert.

"Looks like on paper a two-horse race," Ritvo said. "Her being off 10 months is probably an advantage to us, but Baffert's great and all the works seem pretty strong. But we're real confident with our horse. We're turning back from seven furlongs, going six furlongs, she's sharp, fourth race off the layoff, training great."

Dance Gal Dance, a daughter of Disco Rico, does have to carry 124 pounds, two more than Under Serviced and four to six pounds more than everybody else.

"If she was a small filly, it would bother me, but being a big, strong filly and going six furlongs, I think we'll be okay," Ritvo said.

Though Under Serviced has not run since Nov. 9, she has worked 12 times since June 4, including four times at Saratoga.

According to Tonja Terranova, who helps Baffert with his New York-based horses, Under Serviced was turned out for a couple of months after lightening up following her victory in a New York Stallion Stakes race last November.

"She's training wonderfully, looks great, ready to go," Terranova said. "The vacation definitely helped. She got bigger, she really looks good."

Under Serviced has the rail and may be forced to use her speed under John Velazquez, with Dance Gal Dance, under Rajiv Maragh, likely to be pressing from the outside.

If those two duel, Light Tactic, second in this race last year, could pick up the pieces. She finished fourth to Dance Gal Dance in the Fleet Indian last out, her sixth straight loss.

* Earlier on the card, So N So looks to be a short-priced winner of the $70,000 Lucy Scribner for 2-year-old New York-bred males. So N So won his debut by 9 1/2 lengths at Belmont Park and earned an 87 Beyer Speed Figure.

"She's got an enormous amount of talent, she's a big, long-striding horse who is growing more everyday," said trainer Tom Bush, who also will run Screen Saviour.