02/03/2007 12:00AM

Keyed Entry hardly rusty


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Keyed Entry gave every indication he will be a force to reckon with in the sprint division the remainder of the year when he returned from a seven-month layoff and cruised to an impressive five-length victory over Sir Greeley in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Deputy Minister Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Keyed Entry, a 4-year-old son of Honour and Glory, was sent to the sidelines by trainer Todd Pletcher after finishing last in both the Kentucky Derby and Dwyer Stakes. Before those performances, Keyed Entry had won the Grade 2 Hutcheson, finished second in the Grade 3 Gotham, and was third in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial.

Breaking alertly from the rail under jockey John Velazquez, Keyed Entry sprinted right to the lead and set moderate fractions of 22.25 and 44.53 seconds while stalked by the multiple Grade 3 winner Kelly's Landing. Keyed Entry disposed of his early pursuer once settling into the stretch, then steadily extended his advantage through the final furlong.

Sir Greeley, beaten a head by Chatain going a mile in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Handicap earlier in the meet, raced wide and rallied mildly to finish second while never threatening the winner. Nar finished third, followed by High Finance and Kelly's Landing.

Keyed Entry ($5.80) is owned by Jack Wolf's Starlight Stable, Paul Saylor, and Donald Lucarelli. He completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.72.

"That's the way he's supposed to run going short," said Anthony Sciametta Jr., who has been the trainer of record for the Pletcher stable since the beginning of the meet. "He's a tough sprinter and very tough on the lead."

"We all made a mistake trying to do the Triple Crown thing with this horse last year," said Wolf. "It was like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole."

Suwannee: Naissance Royale gets up

Naissance Royale's string of bad luck was overcome in the Grade 3, $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap for older female turf runners, but not until she extricated herself from a trap on the far turn.

Naissance Royale ($4.20) was bottled up while along the rail heading to the far turn, and lost position as those in front of her either slowed due to pace or exhaustion. But Naissance Royale got out of her bind initially with a quick burst of speed that brought her off the rail at the three-eighths pole. Then, after waiting behind another pack of horses at the quarter pole, she and jockey Edgar Prado swung out for the stretch drive and ran down J'ray to win by a neck. Potra Classic finished third, 2 1/2 lengths behind J'ray.

"When they are good, that's what it's all about," said Christophe Clement, who trains Naissance Royale. "They can overcome a bad trip, they can overcome us."

Naissance Royale completed 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:46.58. The victory was her fifth in 16 starts, but her first since June. She had finished second in her two previous races, and had lost four straight.

"I wasn't sure if she was going to win, but she looked well, she trained well, and I thought she would give a good account of herself," Clement said.

"Last time she drew the outside and was fanned wide," Prado said.

Clement said Naissance Royale, 5, might race once more before being retired. Naissance Royale, by Giant's Causeway, is scheduled to be bred to Kingmambo this spring, Clement said.- Jay Privman