08/26/2006 12:00AM

Lady Pegasus gets her chance


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - When runs in Monday's $70,000 Rumpipumpy Stakes at Saratoga it will be her first start in 116 days. But it's not the first time Bobby Frankel has tried to run her.

"I've been entering her since May at Churchill," Frankel said. "I couldn't get a race to go. I might have passed a grass for her because there was a dirt race in the book, but then that wouldn't go."

Meanwhile, Lady Pegasus has been training right along since finishing a good third in her turf debut at Churchill on May 4 and should be well prepared whether the Rumpiumpy is run at 1 1-8 miles on turf as scheduled or moved to the dirt if it rains.

"She was waiting on horses all the way," Frankel said of Lady Pegasus' last start. "She went on when they came to her, but somebody outquickened her. She's a little one paced."

Lady Pegasus will need a new rider as Rafael Bejarano is out with a cracked rib.

Frankel also entered Grand Opening, but may elect to wait to run her at Belmont. If she runs Monday, she will be equipped with blinkers for the first time.

Like Frankel, trainer Bill Mott has struggled to find a race for Steel Buns, who won a second-level allowance race on June 16, her first start since November. Steel Buns won over this course last year and her only bad race since moving to the turf has come over soft ground at Keeneland.

"The course was ripped up and she didn't like it at all," Mott said. "The way this course is getting if it gets any more ripped up it won't be any good either."

The horse to beat in the Rumpipumpy may be Safari Queen, an Argentine-bred who won a third-level allowance at Belmont in May before finishing fourth to the odds-on favorite Brunilda in the Politely Stakes at Monmouth. In that race, Safari Queen was caught three wide on both turns and didn't have enough kick to run down odds-on favorite Brunilda.

"She ran all right," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "I think she's physically doing better since that race. Her hair coat was off a bit. It seemed like that race has moved her forward in that regard."

The co-feature on the card is the $70,000 Saratoga Dew for New York-bred fillies and mares at 1 1-8 miles on the dirt. Judy Soda won this race last year and could be the one to beat again in her third start off a layoff for Tom Bush.