07/29/2004 12:00AM

If pace is fast, 'Society' could score in Test


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens says reminds him a little bit of November Snow. When it comes to the Grade 1 Test Stakes, which will be run for the 79th time Saturday at Saratoga, that comparison is noteworthy.

Jerkens won his only Test in 1992 with November Snow, who ran poorly in a one-turn route at Belmont Park before winning the Test from off the pace at odds of 9-2. Society Selection enters the Test off a poor sixth-place finish in the Mother Goose Stakes - a one-turn route at Belmont - and should relish shortening up to seven furlongs.

Society Selection, who drew post 7 in the 12-horse Test, won the Comely Stakes, a one-turn mile, at Aqueduct with a powerful off-the-pace move. She encountered traffic and let Island Sand get the jump on her when finishing second in the Grade 1 Acorn.

"She seems to like to come off a fast pace," Jerkens said. "November Snow was a little bit like this filly; she came off the pace and won. I hope [Society Selection] can do that this time. If there's big speed, which there generally is in the Test, maybe she can do it."

After bleeding in the Mother Goose, Society Selection gets Lasix for the first time. Edgar Prado rides Society Selection from post 7.

Dazzle Me showed big speed winning the Grade 3 Azalea Breeders' Cup by 6 1/2 lengths at Calder three weeks ago. Dazzle Me is 4 for 5 in her career, with her only loss coming in a turf race. Trainer Steve Asmussen, who won last year's Test with Lady Tak, said he ran Dazzle Me in that turf race, the Open Mind Stakes in May at her Churchill Downs base, because "we didn't want her shipping around before [the summer] knowing how much was going to be on her plate later."

Asmussen doesn't want to see Dazzle Me get into a hot and heavy pace battle with potential pacesetters Forest Music or Rodeo Licious.

Jerry Bailey has won the Test six times, including five of the last 10. He rides logical favorite Friendly Michelle, sharp winner of the Prioress in her last start. Friendly Michelle, owned by Ed Friendly and trained by Bob Baffert, has shown the ability to win from on or off the pace, and if she works out a stalking trip like she did in the Prioress, she will be hard to beat.

"She's a real hard-trying filly who runs her heart out," said Tonja Terranova, who is overseeing Baffert's New York string. "Wherever Jerry puts her, she'll lay her body down."

Completing the field are Feline Story, Humor Me Molly, Bending Strings, Reforest, and She's a Mugs.