02/07/2008 12:00AM

Keep the Peace speedy threat

Email

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Breaking from the rail can often be an unsettling experience for young horses, especially coming out of the seven-furlong or one-mile chute at Gulfstream Park. But if Keep the Peace comes away running from her inside post, there should be little to prevent the undefeated filly from registering her third straight victory in Saturday's $150,000 Forward Gal Stakes.

Keep the Peace, a New York-bred daughter of Touch Gold, has led at every call en route to easy victories by 4 1/2 and seven lengths in her first two starts. Her most recent win came against first-level allowance company here on Jan. 4.

"This will be her first stakes start and first time beyond six furlongs so you never know what to expect, but she's training well and I'm very happy how she's coming into the race," said Eddie Kenneally, who trains Keep the Peace for owners Gary and Mary West.

Kenneally said he doesn't intend to give jockey Edgar Prado any instructions.

"I'll leave it up to him, depending upon how she breaks," Kenneally said. "I believe she's a flexible and manageable filly and doesn't need to be on the lead, but on paper it sure looks like if she breaks sharp like she's done in her first two starts she should find herself in front."

Only seven 3-year-old fillies entered the Grade 2 Forward Gal. Among those with the best chance of catching Keep the Peace are Melissa Jo, runner-up to runaway winner Game Face in the Grade 2 Old Hat Stakes on Jan. 12; the versatile multiple stakes winner Bsharpsonata; Morakami; and Cozy Mesa. Sensational Love and Cape Cod Lady complete the field.

Melissa Jo has been graded-stakes-placed twice, having also finished a distant third in the Grade 2, 1 1/8-mile Demoiselle in her 2-year-old finale.

Bsharpsonata returns to the dirt for the first time since winning the one-mile Irish Sonnet Stakes on Sept. 22 at Delaware Park. A daughter of Pulpit, she has been impressive on turf, rallying to win the Selima and Tropical Park Oaks in her last two starts.

Cozy Mesa finished a distant fourth, four lengths behind Melissa Jo, in the Old Hat, her 3-year-old debut. She, too, figures to do her best running down the stretch.

Morakami returns to graded stakes competition after starting her 3-year-old campaign under entry-level allowance conditions here on Jan. 19, missing by a neck to the 3-2 Miss Stonestreet going seven furlongs. Morakami was off the board in a pair of Grade 1 races and the Grade 2 Golden Rod at 2.