07/07/2004 11:00PM

Film Maker vs. Sand Springs


The Grade 3, $200,000 All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes at Colonial Downs could come down to a matchup between the speedy Sand Springs and the late-running Film Maker. The All Along is one of two stakes, along with the Virginia Oaks, that share the Saturday card with the Grade 3, $500,000 .

Film Maker is an exceptionally consistent filly who has been rested since a tough-beat second in the Grade 3 Gallorette at Pimlico May 15. She has finished out of the money only twice in her 12-race career, including an eighth-place finish over yielding ground at Churchill Downs last November. She is an obvious threat if the footing is firm Saturday.

Edgar Prado rides Film Maker from the rail.

Her main challenger is Sand Springs, who will break to her immediate outside. She appears to the primary speed but will have to improve off her last showing, when she ran out of gas in the final sixteenth to finish third in the Grade 3 Locust Grove Handicap at Churchill.

Alongside Sand Springs is With Patience, who has won both of her races over the Colonial course. She carried 124 pounds to victory in her most recent score, a sprint race restricted to Virginia-breds. This followed a third-place finish behind Film Maker in the Gallorette.

High Court, a Brazilian import, is a longshot with a good chance. She won her American debut at Monmouth Park over two next-out winners, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 96. She will race with Lasix for the first time here. High Court is a Grade 1 winner, having defeated 19 rivals in her final race in Brazil. She is also entered in the Eatontown Handicap Saturday at Monmouth Park.

New York invader Brandala will also get some support at the windows. She ran the final furlong in her last victory, the Mount Vernon at Belmont, in well under 12 seconds and has the most turf experience in the lineup.

Virginia Oaks: Minge Cove comes to hand

In a race devoid of a pure pacesetter, Galloping Gal will likely be the favorite in Saturday's $200,000 Virginia Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Galloping Gal has shown more pace-prompting speed than the most in the field. She finished with a flourish to win the Edgewood Stakes on the Churchill Downs turf two races back. In her last race, the Grade 3 Dogwood Breeders' Cup on the Churchill main track, she raced an even fourth behind Stellar Jayne, who subsequently won the Grade 1 Mother Goose. Galloping Gal will have the red-hot Prado in the irons and the advantage of breaking from the rail.

The selection here, however, is Minge Cove, who has matured rapidly this season. She will break from post 2 with Mark Guidry aboard.

Her last race was deceptively good. In the Grade 3 Sands Point at Belmont Park, she did not have a clear rallying path and checked slightly behind Vous, who is the likely second choice in the Virginia Oaks. This past winter at Gulfstream, Minge Cove displayed a superior rallying kick to win a maiden race and the Via Borghese.