09/04/2007 11:00PM

Hot figures and streaks nationwide


PHILADELPHIA - Beyer Central nearly went on tilt after last Saturday's card at Saratoga. We love gigantic Beyer Speed Figures, especially when they confirm previous gigantic Beyers. We also love to find that moment when talented horses explode into the Beyer universe.

If the doings at Saratoga were not enough, Labor Day at Evangeline Downs revealed what has to be the fastest Louisiana-bred in history.

And if all those giant Beyers were not quite enough, there is this to consider: The longest winning streaks in the country belong to an Indiana-bred mare who has won 10 straight and a New Mexico-bred filly who has never lost in 11 starts.

First the Beyers and then the streakers.

Remember the controversy after Lawyer Ron broke the Saratoga 1 1/8-mile record in the Whitney Handicap. The time was real and so was the 117 Beyer. As was detailed in an earlier column, Lawyer Ron's Beyer was not clear, given the conflicting data from the July 28 card. Mark Hopkins, who does the Saratoga figures, assigned Lawyer Ron a 116 Beyer.

After reviewing Saturday's data and Lawyer Ron's dominant win in the Woodward Handicap, Hopkins assigned the colt a 119 Beyer. Given the new data, he also upgraded the Whitney Beyer by 1 point to a 117.

Lawyer Ron actually ran two seconds faster in the Whitney than he did in the Woodward. The surface, however, was a bit more than two seconds slower on Saturday than it was on Whitney Day. And for those new to all this, that is what the Beyers do - account for the relative speed of the track surface.

In the race before the Woodward, Midnight Lute, a talented colt with a history of breathing problems, got a 124 Beyer in his dominant win in the Forego. That would be the best Beyer of 2007. That would also be Ghostzapper territory.

Midnight Lute's previous best Beyer was a 106. So, just as in Lawyer Ron's case, Midnight Lute's next race certainly will be interesting. If 124 is going to be the norm, look out.

At the end of June, Costa Rising was a nice 4-year-old colt with 10 wins in 17 starts, every victory but a maiden win coming against Louisiana-breds. His best Beyer was a 99.

On Aug. 11, Costa Rising got loose on the lead at Evangeline, won by 12 1/4 lengths against open company in a $200,000 stakes, set the track record for a mile, and got a 114 Beyer.

The performance fairly screamed "fluke." Wrong.

On Labor Day, Costa Rising stalked the early pace at a mile, won by 17 1/2 lengths in a money allowance against open company, and got a 117 Beyer.

I have no idea what got into Costa Rising. But that new Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile might be appealing, if the colt is nominated or even if he's not.

The Lady Blue Sky update is this. They still can't beat her. I wrote about her a while back. She is now 8 for 8 this year. She has won 10 straight. Most recently, she won at Remington Park. Her Beyer that day was just 64, her lowest during the streak. Her best was 84. All she does is win.

And then there is Peppers Pride. She began her career on July 16, 2005. The New Mexico-bred filly won by 4 1/2 lengths at Ruidoso Downs and got a 63 Beyer.

Her most recent race was on July 29 at Ruidoso. She won by a half-length and got an 88 Beyer. She has won by a neck twice and a nose once. She has raced 11 times and won them all.

Every one of Peppers Pride's races has been against New Mexico breds. She has also won at Sunland Park, Zia Park, and Sun Ray Park (I had to look that up). Apparently, there is some cash available for New Mexico breds. Peppers Pride has won $551,405 with three Beyers of more than 80.

Obviously, there is a spot for Lawyer Ron at Monmouth Park in late October. Could be a spot for Midnight Lute and Costa Rising as well.

I am thinking Lady Blue Sky and Peppers Pride are not going to make it to New Jersey. But they need to race each other. Lady Blue Sky has run in nine states. Peppers Pride has never left New Mexico. So I am proposing a race for Texas, one of the few states where Lady Blue Sky has not run.

Peppers Pride can cross the Texas border from New Mexico while Lady Blue Sky can cross from Oklahoma. They can meet up in Dallas and race at Lone Star. Or just run in a West Texas field. But they do need to race. We need to know.