11/11/2004 12:00AM

Flamenco, Aclassysassylassy star juveniles


MIAMI - New York invader Flamenco and local division leader Aclassysassylassy are the marquee attractions in the four 2-year-old races on Saturday's Florida Million card at Calder.

will be a similar price in the $150,000 Joe O'Farrell Stakes. Both races will be decided at seven furlongs.

There are no such standouts in either the $100,000 John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf or the $100,000 Arthur Appleton Juvenile Turf, both of which drew full fields and will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

Trainer Todd Pletcher shipped Flamenco down from New York shortly after his three-quarter-length victory in Belmont Park's Cowdin Stakes. The win was the third in five starts and second stakes triumph for Flamenco, who also finished second in the Grade 2 Sanford and third in the Grade 1 Hopeful last summer at Saratoga.

Flamenco got to town in time to work a half-mile in 49.80 seconds with jockey Jerry Bailey aboard earlier in the week.

"Any time you ship to Calder you have to be concerned about the surface, which was why I made sure he got to work over the track, but I'm pretty optimistic about his chances," said Pletcher. "He's a very consistent horse who always runs well and he has some pretty strong company lines. His race in the Cowdin was a big one because he had missed some time after the Hopeful and then broke through the doors prior to the start of the race and still was able to hold on for the win."

Flamenco will face nine rivals in the Jack Price with his chief competition likely to come from either Closing Argument or General John B.

Closing Argument began his career in New York with an easy victory over Pletcher's odds-on favorite Prime. He wheeled right back to dominate Delaware Park's NATC Futurity but suffered his first loss here three weeks ago when finishing a tiring third after encountering early trouble in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality Stakes.

General John B. registered one of the most impressive maiden 2-year-old victories here this season when he romped by eight lengths in his career debut. But General John B., trained by David Vivian, bucked shins and was given the summer off.

"This is not where I wanted to start him back, but my hand is forced because there's been nothing else for him here," said Vivian. "He's training well and is fit enough but it's tough to ask him to come back against these type of horses."

Vivian will obviously be a lot more optimistic when he sends Aclassysassylassy into battle earlier in the day in the Joe O'Farrell. Aclassysassylassy has won 4 of her 5 starts and completed a sweep of the Florida Stallion Stakes with her easy 3 1/2-length decision in the 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl Stakes.

"Three days after the race we couldn't hold her on the ground, so I have no problem bringing her back in just three weeks," said Vivian. "She acts as sharp as can be. My main concern is the post position. She drew the rail and I'd much rather be outside, although there's plenty of speed in the race so she should be able to sit off the pace and come running at the end."

The two major upset threats in the Joe O'Farrell appear to be Peace Offering, with Bailey aboard, and Running Bobcats. Peace Offering finished sixth in the My Dear Girl but ran her best race at seven furlongs when she won her maiden. Running Bobcats comes off a pair of one-sided victories, including a 5 3/4-length win in the Cassidy Stakes.

Kentucky invader Rich in Spirit looks to have a slight edge over her 11 rivals in the 1 1/16-mile John Franks Juvenile Fillies. Trained by Tom Proctor, Rich in Spirit rallied to win both of her starts on grass. She earned an 83 Beyer Figure for an entry-level allowance win last month at Keeneland.

The local contingent will be led by Those Littlethings and Silver Stage, each of whom won her last start on grass, and the speedy Yes It's Gold, who turned in an impressive half-mile work over the surface earlier this week.

The Appleton may prove an even bigger puzzle, matching four recent turf winners - Corporate Player, Eastern Sand, Willow O Wisp, and Turk's Ransom - against the speedy Dazzling Dr. Cevin and maiden grass winner Dark Indulgence.