01/03/2008 12:00AM

Invaders challenge local sprinters


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Something will have to give Saturday when several of the fastest sprinters to migrate to south Florida this winter will meet up with a couple of Calder rockets in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Keyed Entry, Noonmark, and Grand Champion are part of an invading contingent that will attempt to wrest local sprint supremacy from Finallymadeit and Mach Ride, both of whom are coming off a terrific 2007, when they combined for 10 wins and more than $800,000 in earnings.

In all, eight older horses are entered in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector, a six-furlong fixture carded as the seventh of 10 races. Keyed Entry, perfect in three career starts at Gulfstream, will carry high weight of 118 pounds, one more than Mach Ride, whose victory in the Grade 2 Smile at Calder in July came at the expense of such standouts as Smokey Stover and Fabulous Strike.

Finallymadeit, a resolute speedster who ground out 8 wins from a demanding 19-race campaign in 2007 for trainer Javier Negrete, is next on the weights list at 115, along with Grand Champion, winner of the Maryland Million Sprint and the Fall Highweight at Aqueduct in his final two starts of last year.

Finallymadeit figures prominent from the opening bell, breaking from post 2 under Eduardo Nunez. He most likely will get initial resistance from Keyed Entry, an exceptionally fast 5-year-old making his first start since he bore out badly and finished eighth in the Grade 2 True North at Belmont last June.

"We decided to just lay him up and regroup after that," said trainer Todd Pletcher.

In an attempt to counteract the horse's tendency to bear out, Keyed Entry will wear an outside extension blinker for the first time in the Mr. Prospector.

"He's been training well in it," added Pletcher.

Noonmark is another viable contender, having ended a 21-month losing streak by posting an authoritative victory in his last start in a Nov.o11 allowance at Churchill Downs. Trainer Steve Asmussen immediately targeted the Mr. Prospector as the next goal, noting how well the horse ran at Gulfstream during his 3-year-old season in early 2006.

Guapeton, Roi Maudit, and Brother Bud complete the field. Of those, Roi Maudit sports the best form, having won his last three starts, ending with the Maria's Mon against 3-year-olds in November in his season finale.