09/16/2010 4:08PM

Distinct contrast in Jack Betta Be Rite


Something akin to the Aesop fable "The Hare and the Tortoise" will take place Saturday afternoon at Finger Lakes when defending champion Lovely Daniella and stretch-out sprinter Gold for the Queen are rematched in the $50,000 Jack Betta Be Rite Handicap.

In last year's running of this 1 1/16-mile stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares, Lovely Daniella came from 11 lengths back after the first call to draw off to a three-length victory at 8-1. Gold for the Queen, part of the early pace battle while four wide on both turns, faded from her efforts and had to settle for third.

In two subsequent meetings, however, Gold for the Queen finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Lovely Daniella in the one-mile Luv is Eternal at Aqueduct, then 3 3/4 lengths in front of her arch rival in the six-furlong Arctic Queen at Finger Lakes on July 17.

The 5-year-old Lovely Daniella, trained by Michael Ferraro, is 5 for 5 in her career racing at distances between a mile and 70 yards and 1 1/16 miles. Her best races going around two turns produced Beyer Speed Figures of 80 and 82 in back-to-back starts last year.

In contrast, Gold for the Queen, primarily a sprinter, earned back-to-back Beyers of 90 and 89 for her win in the Susan B. Anthony and nose loss in the Arctic Queen, both going six furlongs. She did win the 1 1/16-mile New York Oaks as a 3-year-old last year.

Yet Again, second in this race last year when she finished 2 3/4 lengths in front of Gold for the Queen, comes from far off the pace, much like Lovely Daniella. In her lone start locally this year, Yet Again romped by 3 3/4 lengths going a mile and 70 yards on July 19.

The 6-year-old Willy's Wicked Way is a sharp horse stepping up to the stakes level for tor the first time in her 45-race career after three consecutive victories, the last two against open company in optional claiming events. She would have to run substantially faster than her string of recent Beyers - 74, 65, 74 - to contend in this spot.