08/08/2008 11:00PM

Hellvelyn to make U.S. debut


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It has taken longer than expected to get Hellvelyn to the races, and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is eager to find out if it was worth the wait when Hellvelyn makes his U.S. debut in Monday's $80,000 Troy Stakes.

The Troy, carded for 5 1/2 furlongs on the outer turf course, is the featured event on a 10-race card that brings to a close the first half of the meet. The Troy goes as race 4.

Hellvelyn was a Group 2 winner in Great Britain at 2, but went only 1 for 3 last year before Sheikh Rashid, the son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, shipped him to McLaughlin. Beginning in late February, Hellvelyn breezed for a month at Palm Meadows, but then was off the work tab for two months. Since May 18, Hellvelyn has breezed nine times at Saratoga.

"He had a couple of little issues as we went along," McLaughlin said. "He's doing very well. We're excited to get him in there and get going. He trains very well. He's pretty fast. He's got very good form from Europe. Hopefully it stays on the turf."

After a dry day on Saturday, there was a chance of thunderstorms Sunday and Monday.

Sheikh Mohammed's Goldophin Racing will be represented by Rallying Cry, who finished third in the Inside the Beltway Stakes on July 9, a race in which he pressed the early pace.

"I think he may be a better horse with something to run at," said Rick Mettee, who oversees Godolphin's New York string.

Salute the Count was the pacesetter in that race and he looms the main speed again in this field from post 8. Salute the Count is winless in his last seven starts, but suffered narrow losses in the Grade 3 Turf Sprint at Churchill and the Grade 3 Jaipur at Belmont.

Jazzy's lone win in five turf starts in this country came at Saratoga last summer when he took advantage of a swift pace to win the Capades Stakes going 5 1/2 furlongs.

If rain moves the race to the main track, Ferocious Fires becomes the horse to beat. Ferocious Fires is 7 for 7 on dirt, including a front-running score in the John Morrissey Stakes here on July 31.

o Boca Grande, a graded stakes winner at 2 and 3, makes her 4-year-old debut in a third-level allowance race that goes as race 9. She'll face the Grade 2 winner Winning Point in a race brought back after Friday's card was canceled due to unsafe track conditions.