04/30/2010 12:00AM

Dynaslew may have edge


ELMONT, N.Y. - Layoffs and pace are central handicapping issues in Saturday's Beaugay and Fort Marcy, a pair of Grade 3, $100,000 stakes scheduled, respectively, for the inner and Widener turf courses at 1 1/16 miles.

The 33rd running of the Beaugay is race 8 on a 10-race program. It drew a field of eight older fillies and mares, headed by My Princess Jess, who started her 4-year-old campaign winning the 2009 Beaugay for Barclay Tagg. She will be making her first start since last fall, as will Chestoria, Strike the Bell, and Miss World, who won the Grade 1 Garden City Stakes as a 3-year-old here last September.

Pumpkin Shell, making her first start in 10 weeks, and first on turf since her juvenile season, also is entered, along with Florida shippers Scolara, Dynaslew, and Liberally.

While there is no clear pacesetter in the Beaugay, slow fractions didn't deter My Princess Jess from winning the race last year. She was rated off a dawdling opening quarter in 26 seconds, and rallied in the stretch to win going away under Cornelio Velasquez, who is back aboard Saturday.

"Cornelio rode her perfectly," said Tagg afterwards. "She really explodes if you wait until she gets past the quarter pole."

A tactical edge could belong to Dynaslew, who will be making her first start in a graded stakes. She returned from a layoff to win an allowance race at Gulfstream Park first out for trainer Seth Benzel. She has raced close up in all three of her victories, and there is no one else in the field with early speed.

Fort Marcy: Old pros get year going

The 34th running of the Fort Marcy, race 9, drew nine turf-meant older males, and marks the seasonal debuts of the last two Joe Hirsch Turf Classic winners, the 8-year-old Interpatation, and the 7-year-old Grand Couturier.

Historically, neither of those veteran millionaires is even warmed up after 1 1/16 miles, and this race is a stepping-stone to get them to the 10-furlong Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day. Nevertheless, their cause could be helped by a fast pace, as Brother Nick, Florentino, and Storm Play all emerge from front-running efforts.

"If there's enough pace in front of him, that will help," said Bobby Ribuado, who has saddled Grand Couturier to win three Grade 1 races. "But there are horses in the field who prefer this distance, and they don't mind having a horse like him using this as a comeback race."

Interpatation shocked dual Eclipse winner Gio Ponti over a boggy course to win a rain-soaked Turf Classic at 43-1 last October for Bobby Barbara, and concluded the season with an off-the-board finish in the Japan Cup. He rallied mildly to finish fourth in the Fort Marcy off a similar layoff a year ago.

"He came back good last year - this year I think he's come back even better," said Barbara.

Jimmy Jerkens sends out uncoupled stablemates Brother Nick, a close third after setting the pace in the Pan American last out, and Dynamoor, a $700,000 colt by Dynaformer making just his fourth start. He posted maiden and allowance wins at Gulfstream in midwinter.

"He had a little bit of a cough and missed the allowance race last week," Jerkens said.

Operation Red Dawn and Sal the Barber, Grade 3 stakes winners last year for Christophe Clement, are also uncoupled.

Baletti is the field's only two-time winner at 1 1/16 miles. He closed fast to win his first start of the year at Gulfstream for Angel Penna Jr., before finishing off the board in the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz Jr. Handicap at Fair Grounds.