10/19/2005 11:00PM

Kruljac has favorite, but may not run

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Eric Kruljac had his stable star Leave Me Alone flown from Southern California to Keeneland earlier this week. The intent was to run Saturday in the $300,000 Lexus Raven Run Stakes, but after entries were drawn, Kruljac was having second thoughts.

"I don't know if we'll run," Kruljac said Thursday from Arizona. "I'm just leery about how slow that track has been there. Unless it tightens up some, I'm going to have to really think about it."

The defection of would rob the Raven Run of its likely favorite and most accomplished starter. From nine starts, Leave Me Alone has won three stakes, most notably the Grade 1 Test in a 7 3/4-length romp. She drew post 9 with Kent Desormeaux to ride.

With or without Leave Me Alone, the seven-furlong Raven Run once again shapes up as a race worthy of its Grade 2 ranking. Eleven other 3-year-old fillies will give it a go, led by Amazing Buy, a four-time stakes winner from New York; Simply Because, a rapid Southern California shipper from the last crop of Seattle Slew; Hide and Chic, the runner-up to Leave Me Alone in both the Azalea and Test; and Flying Glitter and Eyes on Eddy, the respective one-two finishers in the Indiana Oaks.

Several others figure as fringe contenders, including Comacina, Career Oriented, Swede, and Winning Season, all minor stakes winners. Two more fillies, Bird Harbor and For All We Know, round out the cast.

has won her last four starts, capped by the Grade 3 Indiana Oaks.

"She's just been a dream," said trainer Ronny Werner. "She worked very sharp for me Monday," breezing a half-mile in 47.80 seconds at Churchill Downs. "It's all forward from here."

For All We Know might be a useful longshot play. She won her first three starts, then went off form and was soundly beaten in back-to-back Grade 1 races, the Coaching Club and Alabama. Having been off nine weeks, she has worked swiftly in recent weeks for trainer John T. Ward Jr.

Meanwhile, Kruljac, whose sizable stable is split between California and Arizona, said that if Leave Me Alone is scratched, she will run back in either the First Flight at Belmont on Oct. 30 or the Chilukki at Churchill on Nov. 6. Both races are Grade 2.