08/31/2007 11:00PM

Irish Smoke back for Spinaway

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Tim Burns/Horsephotos
More Happy (right) edges A to the Croft in the Adirondack Aug. 15. They meet again in the Spinaway, but face a tough new foe in Irish Smoke.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Though the Spinaway lost two of its more intriguing prospects in According to Plan and J Z Warrior, the Grade 1 race for juvenile fillies still came up with plenty of depth.

The top three finishers from the Grade 2 Adirondack - More Happy, A to the Croft, and Passion - head the 10-horse field, but they will have to contend with the impressive debut winner Irish Smoke.

The Spinaway is the featured event on Sunday's 11-race card, which also includes the Grade 3 Saranac. Sunday is also the last giveaway day at the meet as all paying customers receive a Saratoga cooler bag.

Irish Smoke, a daughter of 1996 Hopeful winner Smoke Glacken, came from off the pace to win her debut by 2 1/4 lengths. She ran five furlongs in 57.63 seconds and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 94.

"She's a nice filly, very relaxed for the speed she has; she's very mature in the head," trainer Patrick Biancone said.

Interestingly, Biancone shipped Irish Smoke back to Keeneland after her maiden score to train over the Polytrack. Irish Smoke returned to Saratoga on Sunday, and on Monday she breezed four furlongs in 47.13 seconds over the main track. Biancone believes the Polytrack is a kinder surface to train on and he was just following the same formula he used prior to Irish Smoke's maiden victory.

"I was copying myself," Biancone said.

Irish Smoke will break from post 6 under Julien Leparoux.

More Happy, a $1 million daughter of Vindication, shipped cross-country for trainer Bob Baffert after winning her debut by a neck over the Del Mar's Polytrack. She showed tremendous speed in the Adirondack, opening up a 4 1/2-length lead in the stretch under Rafael Bejarano, and hung on to win by three-quarters of a length over A to the Croft.

"Bejarano asked her away from the gate," Baffert said. "I told him just to sit on her away from there. He said, 'I punched [asked] her and she just took off. He said, 'I shouldn't have punched her.'

"She's speed, you can't change her style. Every horse is born with a certain style. Once you find it, you really can't change it; they're not going to be effective."

A to the Croft and Passion bumped at the break of the Adirondack. A to the Croft saved ground down the backside before launching a bid between horses midway around the turn. She came into the stretch five wide and closed well to be second by three-quarters of a length over Passion.

"Surely there's an improvement in the trip," said Ken McPeek, the trainer of A to the Croft. "She's trained like a good horse from the beginning. I'd like to think she could draw outside and dictate where she's at."

Unfortunately for McPeek, A to the Croft drew post 3.

Passion drew post 9, and given the spotty way she ran from the inside in the Adirondack, this post may actually benefit her. Passion seemed timid about splitting horses until deep stretch.

"I thought she ran a good race, learned something from it," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "She got shuffled around, bumped a bit. If she's able to draw an outside post she could break and sit and perhaps get a dream trip."

Phantom Income had a nightmare trip in the Adirondack. She leapt up in the air at the break, losing all chance. But she took off on jockey Eibar Coa and probably ran a sub-44-second half-mile before fading.

Trainer Rick Violette has taken Phantom Income to the gate almost daily for the last two weeks.

"She's been very tense there and not real cooperative," Violette said Friday morning. "She was better [Thursday], and she was quite good today. There wasn't a straw in her path going into the last one. Now you're coming into it sideways; it's totally different. The confidence level isn't there."

Morakami, Salty Wave, Predate, and Blitzing complete the field.