10/23/2006 11:00PM

Handicapping Keeneland's Jessamine

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LAS VEGAS - To the pedigree handicapper, nothing is more tantalizing than playing juveniles on turf, and Keeneland's Jessamine Stakes on Thursday offers some intriguing options in what appears to be a closely matched group of young fillies.

o Audacious Chloe carries top weight off her victory in the Junior Champion Stakes at Monmouth Park in August and has a Tx2 grass pedigree (More Than Ready out of a Manila mare). She looked good in her first two starts, on dirt, then lost all chance in Saratoga's Schuylerville Stakes when she bobbled at the break and lost contact with the field. The Junior Champion was her turf debut. Her dam, Audacious, is a half-sister to Freddie Frisson, the dam of First Samurai.

* Brushed Gold, unplaced in her lone dirt start, is undefeated in two starts on grass and is by Touch Gold, whom I tabbed as a hidden turf (HT) sire from the start because of the grass influences in his pedigree. A Belmont Stakes winner, Touched Gold achieved his success on dirt, but because he is inbred 3x3 to Northern Dancer, one of the great sources of turf breeding over the last 35 years, he always had license to sire winners on turf. Brushed Gold's dam, Painted Lady, won just one race from 10 starts, but she is a full sister to Nobo True, a Group 1 winner in Japan, and is also a half-sister to stakes winner Thunder Kitten and stakes-placed Lady Pegasus. Her second dam, Nastique, was a major stakes winner on dirt and turf, and this female line also produced champion sprinter Chou Croute.

* Katerbug is also unbeaten in two grass starts and has a pedigree chock-full of turf influences. By Pulpit, who has turned into a major grass sire, she is out of a Storm Cat mare. Her second damsire, Sharpen Up, only adds more turf to the equation. Her second dam, Dream Deal (a half-sister to Belmont Stakes winner Creme Fraiche), won the Monmouth Oaks and produced multiple Grade 1 winner Clear Mandate (the dam of stakes winners Newfoundland and Full Mandate) and Grade 2 winner Dream Scheme.

* Bavarian Belle is another daughter of noted turf influence More Than Ready, and she is related to Nobiz Like Shobiz, the lightly raced colt who many believe is the most exciting 2-year-old, though he will pass the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and race instead in the Remsen Stakes. They both share the Herbager broodmare Lilt as their third dam. Bavarian Belle was second to Katerbug in her last start, over this course and distance, and before that effort was an impressive 5 1/4-length winner on turf. She was third to Swingit in her grass debut.

* Swingit has raced well in her three starts, all on turf. After finishing third in her sprint debut at 5 1/2 furlongs, she appreciated stretching out - she won her next start, and then was a close fourth despite an awkward start in her last race over this course. By Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop, she should only get better with maturity and distance. A half-sister to stakes winner Singit, Swingit's third dam is Carnauba, a champion at 2 and 3 in Italy. Her fourth dam, Carnival Queen (by the great turf influence Amerigo), also produced stakes winners King of Mardi Gras, Hey Rube, and Pink Tights (the dam of Sapling Stakes winner Smart n Slick).

* Street Sounds looked ordinary in two dirt starts but came to life in her third start, on turf. From the first crop of HT sire Street Cry (by Machiavellian), Street Sounds won a one-mile turf race by 6 3/4 lengths in an overmatched field at Delaware Park. A half-sister to stakes winner Silver Highlight, Street Sounds is out of Rare Opportunity (by Danzig Connection), who was third in the 1995 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Her second dam, Andora (dam of stakes winner Luftikus), was a daughter of multiple Grade 1 turf winner Sabin.

* Swift Temper could be the big sleeper in this competitive Jessamine field. Totally out of her element in her first two starts, which were on dirt, she dramatically woke up in the mud in a maiden race at Hawthorne in her most recent start, showing a big turn of foot to rally and win by 7o1/4 lengths at one mile and 70 yards.

Swift Temper is bred to love turf and could be the value play in the exotics. By Giant's Causeway, she is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Glasgow's Gold. Her second dam, Gorgeous (Slew o' Gold), was a multiple stakes winner at the highest level. Gorgeous's victories include the Ashland, Hollywood Oaks, Apple Blossom, La Canada, and Vanity Invitational, and she was second to Bayakoa in the 1989 Breeders' Cup Distaff. Swift Temper's third dam, Kamar, was a champion at 3 in Canada and was also broodmare of the year in 1990. Kamar's foals include Kentucky Oaks winner Seaside Attraction (the dam of champion 2-year-old filly Golden Attraction and stakes winners Cape Town, Cape Canaveral, and Red Carnival); Key to the Moon, a champion at 3 in Canada; and Jood, the dam of international champion Fantastic Light.

* Miss Mary Pat, who showed high speed on dirt at Lone Star Park, makes her grass debut here in a tough spot. She is certainly bred to like turf, being by Service Stripe (by Deputy Minister) and out of a mare by Green Dancer (by Nijinsky II).