09/27/2007 12:00AM

Formal Miss goes after Capital Request repeat

EmailMIAMI - Formal Miss was in peak form when she rallied to a 3 1/2-length victory in the 2006 Capital Request Stakes. She has not won another race since, and handicappers must decide whether she is sharp enough now to duplicate that effort when she returns to defend her title at Calder on Saturday.

Weather could play a major role in deciding the outcome of Saturday's main event. The Capital Request is scheduled for 7 1/2 furlongs over a turf course inundated by rain during the week. A field of 12 fillies and mares was entered for the overnight stakes, and several of them are obviously in the lineup with the hope that the race will be switched to one mile on the main track.

Formal Miss, who is not expected to run if the race is taken off the grass, posted her only two victories within a seven-week period in 2006. In her start before the Capital Request, she posted a two-length tally in the Georgia Peaches Stakes. Formal Miss made three subsequent appearances before being retired to the breeding shed following a seventh-place finish last January in Gulfstream Park's Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf.

Formal Miss was bred to Aragon, but she lost her foal and as a result was sent back to trainer Paul Maxwell during the summer. She launched her comeback in the five-furlong Distaff Turf Sprint Championship on Aug. 11, doing well to finish sixth in a strong field despite a slow start.

Now 7, Formal Miss would surpass the $500,000 mark in career earnings by finishing third or better in the Capital Request.

Among those hoping for a surface switch is trainer Ron Spatz, whose A Sea Trippi would likely be favored if the race is switched to the dirt. Most recently A Sea Trippi finished seventh and last in the 6 1/2-furlong U Can Do It Handicap. The loss snapped a two-race win streak for the somewhat inconsistent filly, who has finished off the board in her only two starts on grass.

Spatz has also entered the versatile Kicks in the Capital Request. Kicks finished third over a sloppy main track in the Ms Brookski Stakes earlier in the meet but has also won 2 of 7 starts on turf.

Chicago invader Exclusive Hopper brings a three-race win streak to town, all on turf, for her local debut. Those victories were fashioned against $16,000 starter allowance competition at Arlington Park and Churchill Downs for trainer Peter Walder.