08/15/2008 11:00PM

By the Light looks formidable

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - By the Light suffered her first defeat in her last start, but the connections of last year's New York-bred champion 2-year-old filly could hardly be disappointed. After winning her first five races, By the Light finished second to the Eclipse Award winner Indian Blessing in the Grade 1 Prioress at Belmont Park.

Monday, By the Light drops back into restricted company where she figures to tower over eight rivals in the $80,000 Union Avenue for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs. The Union Avenue shares billing on the 10-race card with the $80,000 Mechanicville, a 5 1/2-furlong turf race restricted to New York-breds.

By the Light's five victories included three easy scores in restricted company, including one against boys in the New York Breeders' Futurity at Finger Lakes. By the Light concluded her juvenile campaign with a win in the $300,000 Delta Princess against open company.

She again defeated open company in the Pearl City Stakes at Belmont to kick off her 3-year-old season before running into Indian Blessing in the Prioress.

Richard Dutrow Jr., the trainer of By the Light, had planned to run By the Light in a two-turn stakes against open company here Sunday, but the race didn't fill.

"I don't know if she would have liked two turns at Saratoga," said Dutrow, who also plans to run Summer Palace in the Union Avenue. "I'm satisfied they're using that race - she's ready to run. I've been happy with every single one of her races; she's just kept impressing me. I hope that continues."

Light Tactic, trained by Richard Schosberg, has won 3 of 5 starts but has not been out since suffering an ankle injury in January. She won her debut here last summer by 3 3/4 lengths.

"She had some heat in a back ankle," Schosberg said. "We gave her some time off and she's come back good. She's doing well; she's breezing good."

Trainer Linda Rice entered four horses in the Mechanicville and said Saturday she plans to run them all. Ahvee's Destiny may be Rice's best chance. Ahvee's Destiny wheels back just 10 days after winning an open-company race at Monmouth. She went 2 for 2 over this course last year, winning both races from just off the pace.

"She doesn't have to have the lead - she can stalk, she's good either way," said Rice, who also has Silver Timber, Canadian Ballet, and Karakorum Elektra in the field.