06/02/2010 11:00PM

Lady Alexander, Blue Sailor speedy threats


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Speed is what you will need to win Saturday's $100,000 co-features at Monmouth Park, the Red Cross and the Wolf Hill stakes.

The Red Cross, race 10 at six furlongs on the main track, drew a field of eight fillies and mares. The pacesetter clearly will be Lady Alexander, who leaves from post 5. She has never been wild about passing horses late, so, as usual, Lady Alexander will be on the lead, looking to steal the race.

Jockey Carlos Marquez Jr. will be aboard Lady Alexander, who has won 3 of 5 starts on the main track at Monmouth, including the Mongo Queen Stakes last year.

Sunday Geisha weakened in her latest, her first start of the year, but that was on the turf, and she has already proven that she much prefers dirt. In fact, Sunday Geisha captured the Trenton Stakes over Monmouth's main track last year. Sunday Geisha drew post 6 for the Red Cross. She has the speed to stay close to the front, and that should be an edge if the pace is controlled, as expected. Paco Lopez will ride.

Christine Daae was off the board as the favorite in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss Stakes at 1 1/8 miles last time out, but she has been training very well toward her return for trainer Patrick Biancone. Christine Daae is the lone 3-year-old in the field, but her Beyer Speed Figures suggest she's one of the top contenders in the race. Joe Bravo, who was aboard for her blowout maiden win in January at Gulfstream, will ride Christine Daae from the rail.

The Wolf Hill (race 11), drew 11 horses, though one runner, Golden Spikes, is entered for the main track only. The 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint drew a typically strong field but, as is the case in the Red Cross, those with some early foot may hold the edge, since there's not a great deal of speed in the lineup.

The one to catch may well be Blue Sailor, a winner in 11 of 20 starts in grass races contested at six furlongs or shorter. Blue Sailor comes off a loss in the Turf Sprint Stakes at Pimlico when he was unable to make the lead and weakened. If he's able to shake loose in the opening stages of the Wolf Hill, Blue Sailor will be difficult to catch. He has never lost a short sprint on the grass when he has been clear after a quarter-mile.

Harry Vega, who has been aboard Blue Sailor his last nine starts, is scheduled to make the trip from Presque Isle Downs, where he's tied for fifth in the rider standings.

Silver Timber, a winner of two straight graded stakes races on the grass, is the main rival to Blue Sailor, though Formidable, who lacks the experience of some of the other turf sprint specialists, fits well in terms of Beyers. Our Friend Harvey, who won the 2008 Wolf Hill, makes his first start of the year for trainer Tim Hills.

Saturday's first post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.