10/13/2005 12:00AM

Gorella hot play - and at a price


NEW YORK - All of the established Breeders' Cup preps are over. But a BC starter or two may emerge from two of Saturday's races, namely the Grade 1, $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland, and the My Dear Girl division of the $400,000 Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder. The My Dear Girl is one of eight stakes on Calder's Festival of the Sun program.

Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup

Luas Line ran very well when she won the Garden City Breeders' Cup last month. She has improved, and if she runs well in this race, and comes out of it in good shape, she could go on to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. But no one in this field has been competitive against the kind of company Gorella has been competitive against in France in her last two starts. And Gorella might be a decent price, making her the play.

Gorella competed in Group 1 mile races in her last two starts. In the Prix d'Astarte, she was third, beaten just over two lengths by Divine Proportions, a superstar filly who, had she remained healthy, might have been one of the shortest-priced favorites on Breeders' Cup Day. But as well as Gorella ran against Divine Proportions, she was even better in her most recent start, the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. Gorella finished second, 2 1/2 lengths behind Starcraft, who came back to win the critical Queen Elizabeth II at Newmarket, and who is expected to be cross-entered in the BC Classic and BC Mile. If he goes in the Mile, Starcraft will be one of the favorites, even with the presence of Leroidesanimaux. But in finishing second to Starcraft, Gorella finished in front of Majors Cast, Whipper, and Valixir. All three are candidates for the BC Mile, and at one point early this year, Valixir was considered by some to be the best miler in Europe.

My Dear Girl

Running Lass is going for a sweep of the filly division Florida Stallion Stakes series, but I think she is vulnerable here at a short price. After six starts, she has shown herself to be a one-way front-runner. She figures to encounter serious pace pressure here from Stolen Prayer and Mystery Girl, and do it as she stretches out to two turns for the first time.

I'm going with Mia's Reflection. She is not particularly fast, at least not yet. But she has shown she can win from off the pace, and her only two career wins came in her only two attempts around two turns, and both were in stakes. Mia's Reflection's proficiency around two turns should not be underestimated, because at this time of year, there is often a great dichotomy between 2-year-old sprint and route form. For example, check the last two races by Prospect of Love, who is also in this race. She was beaten only a head by Running Lass sprinting two starts back, but she was beaten almost eight lengths by Mia's Reflection going long last time out, even though that was a much slower race in terms of Beyer Speed Figures.

In Reality

Like Running Lass, In Summation is going for a sweep of the Florida Stallion Stakes, in the open division, and you might think he would be a lock since this undefeated colt was 1-10 when he won his last race. But I'm going to try and tip him over with Blazing Rate.

Blazing Rate ran second in In Summation's last win, a creditable performance considering Blazing Rate was stepping up off a win in his career debut and In Summation already had four wins, three of them stakes. Blazing Rate came back to win the Foolish Pleasure BC Stakes, giving him some valuable seasoning, and giving him a win around two turns, something In Summation lacks.


Calder: My Dear Girl Division
Fillies, 2-years-old, 1 1/16 miles

Approximate post: Eastern-5:00 p.m., Central-4:00 p.m., Mountain-3:00 p.m., Pacific-2:00 p.m.; Miami, Fl., forecast: Slight chance of rain, 86 degrees

1Stolen Prayer50517015-1
2Najibes Stag59514920-1
3Mystery Girl8088647-2
4A Sea Trippi6670676-1
5Consider Thesource60642820-1
7Running Lass8480865-2
8Mia's Reflection6977359-2
9Siren Cove8262645-1
10Pyrite Beauty51523330-1
11Prospect of Love56846812-1

Track morning line odds

Calder: In Reality Division
2-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles

Approximate post: E-5:31 p.m., C-4:31 p.m., M-3:31 p.m., P-2:31 p.m.; Miami, Fl., forecast: Slight chance of rain, 86 degrees

3D. J. Best5978688-1
4First Movement75625230-1
5Full In53514850-1
6Lucky Chief73906110-1
7In Summation98102799-5
8Blazing Rate8792907-2
9Lil Diazo74727215-1
10Old Town Pond86736915-1
11He's a Lumberjack74626520-1

Track morning line odds

Keeneland: Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup
Fillies, 3-years-old, 1 1/8 miles, turf

Approximate post: E-5:40 p.m., C-4:40 p.m., M-3:40 p.m., P-2:40 p.m.; Lexington, Ky., forecast: Partly cloudy, 71 degrees

2Luas Line108n/an/a2-1
3Isla Cozzene86868420-1
4Karen's Capern/an/an/a12-1
6Three Degrees9694986-1
7Naissance Royale100n/an/a7-2
8Sweet Talker9389898-1

Odds by Kristin Sadler