10/09/2008 12:00AM

Liberty Bull in tough spot


LEXINGTON, Ky. - If career earnings meant anything, Wise Answer and Liberty Bull would have quite the edge Saturday in the $200,000 Perryville Stakes at Keeneland.

Of course, handicapping involves far more variables than that. In fact, at least a few of the 10 opposing 3-year-olds in the Grade 3 Perryville are more logical winners than either Wise Answer or Liberty Bull, who have combined to knock out more than $900,000 through what might be termed opportunistic placements.

"This is a really nice field," said Tom Amoss, the trainer of Liberty Bull. "This will be the toughest group he's ever faced in his career, regardless of how much any of them have made in previous races."

One need look no farther than the rail post to find the most dangerous rival: I'm So Lucky, trained by Lexington native John T. Ward Jr., was a romping winner of three straight races this spring and summer before finishing a determined third behind Visionaire and Desert Key in his last start at Saratoga, a roughly run edition of the Grade 1 King's Bishop Aug. 23.

Robby Albarado has the mount on I'm So Lucky, a Langfuhr colt whose last race on Polytrack was his maiden triumph here in April.

Other viable contenders in the Perryville, which is run at the Beard Course distance of seven furlongs and 184 feet, include Fidelio, Eaton's Gift, Meal Penalty, Hatta Fort, and Amazing Results. Amazing Results has been in particularly sharp form in Chicago and is 2 for 2 on Polytrack.

Another possibility, Ready's Image, is cross-entered Sunday in the Bryan Station Stakes on the Keeneland turf.

Liberty Bull has a bankroll of $428,792, much of it from a victory in March in the $600,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland Park in New Mexico, while Wise Answer, a Florida shipper trained by David Brownlee, has amassed $490,800 largely on his success as a 2-year-old in the rich Florida Stallion Stakes series.

Liberty Bull, coming off a victory over the synthetic track at Presque Isle Downs, "came out of his race the better for it," said Amoss. "Plus I think this race is at a very good distance for him."