01/21/2006 12:00AM

Laurel: Flame of Love romps


Flame of Love has quickly proven to be an extremely profitable claim for trainer Scott Lake.

Winless in eight starts during 2005, including the Nov. 12 race in which Lake took her for $25,000 on behalf of McCarthy Racing, Flame of Love recorded her second straight victory for her new connections in the $85,000 What a Summer Stakes at Laurel Park.

Lake's assistant, Hugh McMahon, said his boss went after the 6-year-old Flame of Love based on the class she displayed earlier in her career.

"He liked the back form," McMahon said. "She won a stakes as a 2-year-old and he's always liked that."

Flame of Love was treated for ulcers after her acquisition and responded by improving her Beyer Speed Figure nearly 30 points when she raced against third-level allowance sprinters at Philadelphia Park on Jan. 8.

She performed even better in the six-furlong What a Summer. Taking the lead breaking from the rail under jockey Jozbin Santana, Flame of Love ($5) repelled a brief challenge from 11-1 longshot Spirited Game approaching the turn for home and drew off by 10 1/2 lengths. She was timed in 1:10.36 on a fast track.

Spirited Game, a stakes winner in 2004, held on for second in her second outing for trainer Dove Houghton, who took over when Ron Cartwright retired last month.

Baldomera, the 9-5 second choice in a field of nine fillies and mares, raced far back and finished fifth.