10/10/2006 12:00AM

High Finance bringing high hopes to Perryville


LEXINGTON, Ky. - High Finance drew the outside post as the probable favorite for the Friday feature at Keeneland, the $200,000 Perryville Stakes, for which entries were drawn Tuesday.

Owned by West Point Stable and trained by Rick Violette, High Finance earned a 108 Beyer Speed Figure in winning a second-level allowance on the Aug. 26 Travers undercard at Saratoga.

"We're thrilled with how he ran on Travers Day," said Jeff Lifson, director of Midwest operations for West Point. "Off that big effort, we've got some pretty high ambitions for him."

High Finance is part of a full field of 12 3-year-olds entered in the Grade 3 Perryville, which will be run over Polytrack at the Beard Course distance of seven furlongs and 184 feet. Other logical contenders include Court Folly, winner of the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga; Likely, winner of the Lafayette here in the spring; and Latent Heat, an impressive winner of his last two starts, both in allowance company in New York.

From the rail out, this is the lineup for the eighth running of the Perryville:

Likely, Julien Leparoux to ride; Vanilla Scoop, Willie Martinez; Midnight Lute, Victor Espinoza; Court Folly, Calvin Borel; Mach Ride, Robby Albarado; Reigning Court, Corey Lanerie; Fabled, Eddie Castro; Sailors Sunset, Jesus Castanon; Lewis Michael, Rene Douglas; Latent Heat, Edgar Prado; Praying for Cash, Rafael Bejarano; and High Finance, Garrett Gomez.

Gorella's race may eclipse QEII

In most years, the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup is clearly the most important race held on the second weekend of the Keeneland meet. But with Gorella scheduled to run in the the First Lady on the same program, that race may deserve top billing here Saturday.

Gorella, the 4-year-old filly who was sensational in winning the Aug. 12 Beverly D. in her last start, will be a solid favorite in the Grade 2, $400,000 First Lady in a field expected to include My Typhoon, Karen's Caper, Sweet Talker, and probably another three or four fillies and mares. Entries for all 10 Saturday races were to be drawn Wednesday.

Gorella, with Julien Leparoux to ride again, is using the one-mile First Lady as a prep for the Breeders' Cup, although trainer Patrick Biancone has not committed to the BC Mile or BC Filly and Mare Turf.

The $500,000 QEII, a Grade 1 invitational at 1 1/8 miles, is expected to get a capacity field of 12 3-year-old fillies. The connections of the following horses have accepted invitations: Aunt Henny, Citronnade, Foxysox, Germance, Lady of Venice, Magnificent Song, Maxxi Arte, Mauralakana, Quiet Royal, Take the Ribbon, Vacare, and Vague.

Behaving Badly tops third stakes

Besides the First Lady and QEII, a third rich stakes for fillies and mares also will be on a terrific Saturday card: the $300,000 Thoroughbred Club of America, a Grade 3 race at six furlongs.

Behaving Badly, the New York-bred mare who has won 9 of 12 career starts, looks like a heavy favorite in a field expected to number seven or eight, according to Keeneland stakes coordinator Tyler Picklesimer.

Bel Air Beauty will go on to BC

Frank Brothers said Tuesday at Churchill Downs that Bel Air Beauty returned in good shape from her 47-1 upset in the Alcibiades Stakes and will indeed be pointed for the BC Juvenile Fillies. "She seems to be fine," said Brothers.

Meanwhile, Passport, the previously unbeaten colt who finished fifth Saturday in the Breeders' Futurity, is doubtful to run back in the BC Juvenile, although "I wouldn't completely rule it out," said Brothers. "He came out of the race fine, although I'm not sure what we're going to do with him."

Flower Alley shipping to Churchill

Flower Alley, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt who was second in the BC Classic last fall, was scheduled to arrive Tuesday at Churchill from New York, said Pletcher assistant Michael McCarthy. Despite the fact that Flower Alley ran poorly in his last two starts, the Whitney and Woodward, a crack at the BC Classic has not been ruled out, said McCarthy.

"Nothing has been decided," he said. "We'll see how he does once he gets here."

* The Spinster might be giving the BC Distaff more fillies and mares than it needs. Besides the winner, Asi Siempre, as many as five of her beaten rivals are reported to be under serious consideration for the Distaff: Soul Search, Lemons Forever, Happy Ticket, Summerly, and Spun Sugar.

* Friday will be College Scholarship Day once again at Keeneland, with 10 scholarships worth $1,000 each being raffled off throughout the day. Last spring, more than 1,500 students representing

68 colleges registered for the event.