08/05/2008 11:00PM

Lethal Heat prepping for Oaks


DEL MAR, Calif. - Barry Abrams entered the filly Lethal Heat against the boys in Friday's $100,000 Real Good Deal Stakes at Del Mar to see how the race looked on paper. Abrams, her trainer and co-owner, liked what he saw.

"It was meant to be," Abrams said. "She's got a perfect post. All the opposition is inside her. As long as she's okay Friday, she'll run, and then we'll go in the Oaks."

The presence of Lethal Heat, who is a terror on synthetic surfaces, adds considerable intrigue to the Real Good Deal, the featured event on the 4 o'clock Friday program at Del Mar. This will be her first start against males, but the race is restricted to California-bred 3-year-olds, and she already this year owns victories in graded stakes like the Hollywood Oaks and Railbird Stakes.

Abrams said the Real Good Deal is a means to an end. He wants to bring Lethal Heat back eight days later in the Grade 1, $350,000 Del Mar Oaks on turf, though it's not guaranteed she would get into that field if it overfills.

"If she runs in the Oaks, she'd need to work seven furlongs this week anyway," Abrams said. "I might as well put her in this race. And she likes synthetic surfaces."

Lethal Heat has 3 wins in 4 starts on synthetic surfaces, including a victory here July 20 in the Fleet Treat Stakes against California-bred fillies. The Real Good Deal, like the Fleet Treat, is at seven furlongs.

Lethal Heat drew the outside post in the field of eight. Garrett Gomez will ride her, replacing Rafael Bejarano, who will be on one of Lethal Heat's primary rivals, Kool Comic.

Kool Comic has won three straight, including two since being claimed for $20,000 and moving to the barn of Jerry Hollendorfer. His synthetic form is mixed. He won at Golden Gate on June 20, but turned in two dreadful efforts there beginning his career at the end of 2007. This will be Kool Comic's first race outside Northern California. He got a Beyer Speed Figure of 99 in defeating older first-level allowance runners at Pleasanton in his last start, but that was on dirt.

Dancing in Silks comes off a win at Hollywood Park in a first-level allowance race for Cal-breds in which he earned a Beyer Figure of 102. Twice in his four races he has topped the 100 mark.

"Off his previous performances, he looks pretty good in here," said Carla Gaines, who trains Dancing in Silks. "But I'm not crazy about the No. 1 post."

Dancing in Silks has led from start to finish in his two wins. The only time he broke from the rail, in his debut, he dropped back and rallied late to finish second.