08/18/2006 11:00PM

Finlandia ends stakes frustration in Yaddo


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - There was a stakes race with Finlandia's name on it after all.

After losing her four previous stakes tries, including her last three New York-bred stakes by a combined two lengths, Finlandia finally broke through Saturday at Saratoga by winning the $113,100 Yaddo Stakes by one length over a late-rallying Sabellina, the 8-5 favorite. It was another half-length back to Elisa's Energy in third.

On the Bus, the 2005 Yaddo winner who was making the last start of her career, finished sixth, beaten seven lengths. On the Bus is in foal to Kitten's Joy.

After finishing a troubled third in the Irish Actress Stakes at Belmont last month, Finlandia received the perfect trip Saturday under Kent Desormeaux. Desormeaux hustled Finlandia away from the gate and let her settle into third position on the inside while Cayuga's Waters set a modest pace hounded by longshot The Lamp is Lit. Cayuga's Waters ran an opening three-quarters in 1:13.62. Desormeaux sat chilly on Finlandia until the top of the stretch, when he guided her off the rail and she took off down the lane.

Finlandia covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.70 and returned $9.90 as the second choice.

"It's all about trips on the turf, and today she had the perfect trip," said trainer Tom Bush, who won his sixth race from 17 starters at the meet. "She was able to get the job done. She sprinted clear turning for home off that slow pace. Kent did a great job not having her too far back. I thought the ride was the big difference."

Greeley's Galaxy targets Forego

The Grade 1 Forego on Sept. 2 is shaping up as a terrific race, and one horse who seemingly is prepared for a big effort is Greeley's Galaxy, the 2005 Illinois Derby winner who on Saturday breezed a strong five furlongs in 1:00.45 over Saratoga's main track.

Greeley's Galaxy, who won a stakes-caliber allowance race at Churchill in July, worked in company with the 3-year-old filly Champagne Truffles. Greeley's Galaxy broke in front and finished five lengths ahead of Champagne Truffles at the wire. It was Greeley's Galaxy's fourth work over this track since shipping up here following his win on July 9.

"I kind of shipped him, freshened him after his Churchill race, and gradually picked it up," said trainer Al Stall. "Today, being two weeks out, I kind of let him do a little something, which he was dying to do. He did everything right, finished up strong, galloped out strong, all those kind of good things. We'll give him a little blow out next week, and hopefully the cake is baked."

The Forego may have enough quality in it to upstage the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward, which is run the same day. Among the horses pointing to the Forego are Commentator, Silver Wagon, War Front, Mr. Fotis, Pomeroy, and possibly Latent Heat.

Commentator worked four furlongs in 47.26 seconds on Saturday over the Oklahoma training track.

Fleet Indian set for Personal Ensign

Fleet Indian completed preparations for Friday's Grade 1, $400,000 Personal Ensign Stakes by working an easy five furlongs in 1:03.74 Saturday morning over Saratoga's main track. Carl "The Stroker" O'Callaghan was aboard for the work. Saratoga clockers caught the first quarter in 24.80 seconds.

"Nice and easy, that's kind of what I wanted," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "Let her stay happy. She's fit and ready."

Fleet Indian has won all four of her starts, including three graded stakes, since Paul Saylor bought her last January and turned her over to Pletcher. Overall, Fleet Indian, a New York-bred daughter of Indian Charlie, has won six consecutive races.

Balletto is the only other confirmed runner for the Personal Ensign, run at 1 1/4 miles. Possible starters include India Halo, Silver Highlight, Soul Search, and Yolanda B. Too.

Magical Ride points to Matron

Trainer Rusty Arnold said Magical Ride came out of her third-place finish in Wednesday's Adirondack tired, but otherwise in good order, and she will be pointed to the Grade 1 Matron at Belmont Park on Sept. 23. She will most likely meet Octave, the Todd Pletcher-trained filly who won the Adirondack.

The condition of the track Wednesday was very laboring, and Magical Ride made the early pace while being pressed by Chagall and then Tora. She put both of those horses away before being caught late.

"I thought she ran incredible to finish where she finished," Arnold said. "I knew Todd [Pletcher] would send half his entry. She just needs a little time. I don't think her problem is a distance problem."

Arnold said he will work on trying to harness Magical Ride's brilliant early speed.