08/31/2006 12:00AM

Forego field has main-event material

Adam Coglianese / NYRA
Commentator, winning the Mugatea on July 12, will face fellow Grade 1 winners Mass Media, Pomeroy, and Silver Wagon in the Forego on Saturday at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - On the marquee, Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000 Forego Stakes may rank below the $500,000 Woodward Stakes on the same 11-race card, but it has the makings of being not only the best race of the day, but of the meet.

Four of the 11 horses entered in the seven-furlong Forego have won Grade 1 stakes at Saratoga, including 2005 Whitney winner Commentator, 2005 Forego winner Mass Media, 2004 King's Bishop winner Pomeroy, and 2003 Hopeful winner Silver Wagon.

"This is one of the best races of the year," said Nick Zito, trainer of probable favorite Commentator.

Handicapping the Forego has to start with . A New York-bred son of Distorted Humor, Commentator has won 8 of 10 career starts and was injured in the two races he lost. He is 4 for 4 at seven furlongs, 3 for 3 at Saratoga, and 3 for 3 on wet tracks, which could be the case Saturday.

Commentator's only negative is that he has raced only once this year, a win over three New York-bred rivals in the Mugatea Stakes at Belmont on July 12. Still, Zito said he is content with Commentator's fitness level and his training for the race.

"We took him over to the main track this morning, schooled him in the paddock, and he was just a bear," Zito said Thursday morning. "He obviously knows what's going on. He knows he's going to have to come with something. He's a special horse, and hopefully he'll do his thing. I would love to draw outside. That would be my wish list."

Zito did not get his wish, however, as Commentator drew post 2.

Commentator, who will be ridden by Eibar Coa, will have to deal with some early pace pressure from Spanish Chestnut and Friendly Island. Spanish Chestnut was on the pace in both the Commonwealth and True North handicaps, finishing third in both. Friendly Island, another New York-bred, has run well pressing the pace.

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. elected not to run Kazoo as a rabbit in the Forego to help his late-runner Silver Wagon. Silver Wagon has won three of four starts at Saratoga, including the Hopeful and a six-furlong allowance race in his last start.

"He's going to run the race of his life, I know that," said Dutrow. "I don't know where that stacks up against Commentator, and there are a couple of other ones in there that are okay."

One horse everyone should fear is War Front, who won the Grade 2 Vanderbilt Handicap last out and won a six-furlong allowance race in the slop here last August by 11 1/2 lengths off an eight-month layoff. War Front was beaten a neck by Silver Train in his only start at seven furlongs. He will be ridden by Jose Santos in the Forego.

"Seven furlongs shouldn't be a problem for him," said trainer Allen Jerkens. "[Santos] can rate him if he wants to. He ran a big race the last time he ran seven furlongs."

Pomeroy won the Grade 1 King's Bishop here as a 3-year-old and the Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap here as a 4-year-old. He earned the two highest Beyer Speed Figures of his career over this track. He gets a rider switch to John Velazquez and figures to get a stalking trip just off the speed. In his only start this year, he finished second to Nightmare Affair in the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder.

"He's training as good as he could be, and he likes that track so much," said trainer Marty Wolfson. "He probably needed his last race."

Nightmare Affair has won four straight. Awesome Twist and Greeley's Galaxy are late runners who could figure in the exotics.

The field

Forego Stakes
Purse: $250,000; 7 furlongs; Grade 1

1Nightmare AffairJ. Sanchez1218-1
2CommentatorE. Coa1218-5
3Friendly IslandG. Gomez11912-1
4Awesome TwistJ. Castellano11720-1
5Greeley's GalaxyC. Borel11720-1
6Spanish ChestnutJ. Leparoux11715-1
7Mass MediaF. Jara12110-1
8PomeroyJ. Velazquez1178-1
9Judiths Wild RushK. Desormeaux11920-1
10Silver WagonE. Prado1178-1
11War FrontJ. Santos1214-1

* Odds by Art Gropper
* Television: Saturday; 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Eastern; ESPN