12/13/2008 12:00AM

J'ray can wrap it up as a millionaire


MIAMI - J'ray can put an exclamation point on what has already been an outstanding career and join the millionaire's club in the process when she starts as the highweight and likely favorite in Saturday's $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap at Calder.

The Grade 2 La Prevoyante is one of four graded stakes on Saturday's program and will share top billing with the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap. Both races will be decided at 1 1/2 miles on the turf.

J'ray, a New York-bred daughter of Distant View owned by breeder Lawrence Goichman, brings career earnings of $941,643 into the La Prevoyante. She has banked nearly half that total in 2008, with victories in the Grade 2 Canadian at Woodbine and the Grade 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth Park. Both those wins came at 1 1/8 miles.

In her most recent start, J'ray finished second despite a wide trip when she was sent 1 1/2 miles for the first time in her career in Aqueduct's Grade 3 Long Island Handicap. She finished fourth in the 10-furlong, Grade 1 E.P. Taylor at Woodbine four weeks earlier.

"Unless something changes, this will be her final start," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "Although the Long Island was the first time she'd been this distance, I thought she ran great, and with a little smoother trip probably could have gotten there. In fact, arguably the two best races she ran this year were races she lost. I also thought she ran great when she finished second to Mauralakana at Calder in the spring," a three-quarter-length loss in the Mairzy Doates Handicap.

J'ray, who won both the Tropical Oaks at 3 and the Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap over this course a year ago, will carry 121 pounds including Joe Bravo in the La Prevoyante. She is one of two horses Pletcher will saddle in the race, along with Grade 2 winner The Niagara Queen.

Although the purse of the La Prevoyante was cut from $200,000 to $150,000 earlier this year, the race still came up strong, with a field that, in addition to the Pletcher pair, also includes Communique, Herboriste, and Palmilla.

Communique was pointing for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf but missed the race because of a foot abscess she suffered earlier that week. Communique, a 4-year-old daughter of Smart Strike, has not started since finishing third over a soft course in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl on Sept. 27. In her previous try, she was a game second behind Mauralakana in the Grade 1 Beverly D.

"She came down with the abscess on the Monday before the Breeders' Cup and was scheduled to fly to California the next day," said trainer George "Rusty" Arnold II. "She was fine by Breeders' Cup day, but I didn't want to be putting a lame horse on the plane. She's training very well, so the time off between starts will not be an excuse. She's really come a long way over the last year. When I left here last winter she was still a one-other-than. With her style she's dependent upon the pace, and this came up a pretty solid race, but I expect her to run well on Saturday."

Herboriste outfinished Palmilla by 1 1/2 lengths to register a mild upset in the 12-furlong Dowager at Keeneland when the pair last met on Oct. 19. The victory snapped a streak of three straight second-place finishes for Herboriste that included the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap, in which she was defeated by Mauralakana.