08/14/2001 12:00AM

Hey You, that's one fast figure!


COLUMBIA, Md. - In this corner we have the 4-year-old colt Left Bank - a bull of a sprinter who regularly runs Beyer Speed Figures in the 105 to 114 range. And, in the other corner, we have a 2-year-old filly named You, with just two lifetime races and a top Beyer of 83.

It certainly sounds like a preposterous mismatch: a super-heavyweight versus a junior lightweight. But for those who saw the races at Saratoga on Aug. 13, the matchup might not seem quite so ridiculous.

In the third race on Monday, a high-class allowance event, Left Bank controlled the pace from the rail in leisurely fractions (for Saratoga) of 22.46 seconds and 44.97. He drew off easily from his competition, finishing powerfully with a 23.56-second final quarter. His final time: 1:08.53. His Beyer Figure: 114.

In the eighth race, the 6 1/2-furlong Adirondack Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, Cashier's Dream set a much hotter pace: 21.65 seconds and 44.62, with You applying constant pressure every step of the way on the outside. These two battled dramatically through the entire stretch, running the six furlongs in 1:08.71. You finally drew even in the late stages and passed Cashier's Dream in the final 50 yards. The final time: 1:15.16, and a Beyer figure of 107. Okay, so the two fillies probably wouldn't beat Left Bank in a match race. But the accomplishment of You and Cashier's Dream is still remarkable.

No one should be surprised, however. Cashier's Dream came to Saratoga fresh from smashing the 5 1/2-furlong track record at Churchill Downs, and trainer Steve Asmussen has been eager to showcasing his star at Saratoga. As for You, trainer Bobby Frankel recently purchased her privately for owner Edmund Gann, and Frankel has been an outstandingly successful shipper to New York over the last few years - especially in major stakes.

Still, the Beyer Speed Figure of 107 is historic for 2-year-old fillies. A look at the series of juvenile filly stakes at Saratoga - the Schuylerville, the Adirondack, and the Spinaway - over the past seven years is interesting:

* The average winning Beyer Figure for the last seven runnings of the Adirondack was 87.6.

* The average winning Beyer Figure for all three races was 88.

* Raging Fever's 101 in the slop last year is the only other Beyer even remotely close to You and Cashier's Dream's.

* The average winning Beyer for the Spinaway (usually the fastest of the three) was only a 90.

When you look at this history, You's Beyer of 107 stands out dramatically. It's approximately 19 points higher than the average for this race. If the same feat were to be accomplished in the Kentucky Derby, the winner would have to run a 127, and the Breeders' Cup Classic winner a 134. That should give some idea of just how fast these two fillies ran last Monday.

In setting the pace and hanging in there gamely, Cashier's Dream showed remarkable speed, stamina, and determination. But You was even more impressive. Cashier's Dream has brilliant natural speed and ran those early fractions without much urging. You, on the other hand, had to be urged to keep in touch with the leader, as if she might prefer relaxing a bit more in the early stages. A number of times she looked beaten, but she persevered. By the time the two were done, the rest of the field had been left gasping, more than 15 lengths behind.

"I wasn't sure she was really that fit," Frankel said of You after the race. "Because we didn't do that much with her. She showed she's a quality filly." Indeed. If she can put in that kind of memorable effort when short of condition, it will be interesting to see what she does when she's fit.