02/10/2005 12:00AM

Golden Marlin - many foes, no peers

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Golden Marlin will be such a strong favorite Saturday when the Likely Exchange Stakes is run at Turfway Park that perhaps the most surprising aspect of the one-mile race is the number of opponents who showed up to run against her.

The maximum 12 fillies and mares are entered in the $50,000 Likely Exchange, the 10th of 12 races at the Florence, Ky., track.

, a 5-year-old mare owned by Doug Glass and the estate of his late brother-in-law, Joe Famularo, will break from post 5 and is coming off a sharp win in the most recent filly-mare stakes at Turfway, the Wishing Well Stakes on Jan. 15.

Although the Wishing Well was run at six furlongs, and though Golden Marlin spent virtually all of last year in sprints for trainer Greg Foley, she does have a distinguished background in two-turn races. The richest victory of her career came in the 1 1/16-mile Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs in the spring of her 3-year-old season. In fact, the stretchout to a mile on Saturday, along with the steady stretch kick that Golden Marlin consistently gives, makes her easily the one to beat in the Likely Exchange.

Dean Sarvis, the leading rider at Turfway, again will ride Golden Marlin, who already has earned $379,667 from 24 lifetime starts.

If some horse is to jump up and beat Golden Marlin, she probably will have to run a lifetime best race.

One upset candidate is Tempus Fugit, an inconsistent but dangerously speedy gray mare who will start next to Golden Marlin in post 4. Trained by Bernie Flint, Tempus Fugit earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure in winning a November allowance at Churchill Downs at this same mile distance.

Evil Eye Aly (post 3) reached a new level in her last start, capturing a second-level allowance here by 11 lengths. Trained by Don Gogel, Evil Eye Aly is 2 of 4 at Turfway.

Beaucette (post 8) appears to be in poor form but ships into Kentucky from the tougher Southern California circuit for trainer Neil Drysdale. The Mr. Prospector mare will be looking to rebound from a 20-length defeat in the Paseana Handicap at Santa Anita four weeks ago.

Miss Wellspring and Plumlake Lady are two other upset possibilities.

The lone allowance race here Saturday, a $25,400 mile for 3-year-old fillies, directly precedes the Likely Exchange on a card that begins at 1:10 p.m. Eastern.