08/02/2006 11:00PM

Hello Liberty among 14 in Test


In an era when short fields have become all too commonplace in stakes races across the country, Saturday's $250,000 Test at Saratoga will provide a refreshing change of pace with 14 3-year-old fillies expected to start in the seven-furlong, Grade 1 race.

The Test drew 15, including the Patrick Biancone-trained entry of 2005 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Wild Fit and the Grade 1-placed Sabatini. Biancone said Sabatini will run if the track is fast; Wild Fit goes if the track is off.

The big field guarantees plenty of betting value with Hello Liberty likely to be a relatively generous price even as the potential favorite. She is perfect in two starts at seven furlongs, including a hard-fought neck decision over Win McCool and Swap Fliparoo in the Grade 2 Nassau County BC Stakes. In her most recent start, Hello Liberty was outgamed by a neck by multiple Grade 1 winner Bushfire in the one-mile Acorn on June 10.

"Seven furlongs suits her best, although she ran lights out going a mile in the Acorn," said trainer Larry Jones. "She's doing well, the rest since the Acorn has agreed with her, and she's got enough speed to be forwardly placed even in a big field. Hopefully, she won't have to maneuver too much in a lot of traffic."

Sabatini appears to be rounding back to the form that saw her finish third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet in her last start at 2. She enters the Test off a 2 1/4-length allowance win going seven furlongs at Churchill Downs.

"We've been targeting the Test with her for a while, and her last win was a perfect prep for this race," said Biancone. "She just doesn't like the slop. Wild Fit got sick after finishing third in the Santa Anita Oaks and she's ready to run, but we've got plenty of time to find a race for her if she doesn't start Saturday."

Ready to Please will turn back in distance for trainer Todd Pletcher off a third-place finish behind Bushfire in the Grade 1, 1 1/8-mile Mother Goose. She won the Grade 2 Fantasy earlier this year at Oaklawn Park.

Wild Gams was beaten a neck by Hello Liberty's stablemate Wildcat Bettie B. in the Grade 1 Prioress BC and has yet to run beyond six furlongs. She figures to force the early pace along with Misty Rosette, a winner of four of six career starts, Win McCool, and Livermore Valley.