08/31/2010 3:04PM

Lisa's Booby Trap faces talented group in turf debut

Tom Keyser
Lisa's Booby Trap makes her turf debut in the tougher division of Thursday's Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The racing office had a difficult time filling some stakes races at the Saratoga meet. The Riskaverse was not among them.

With 23 entries for the turf – and four more for the dirt – the Riskaverse, for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on the inner turf, was split into two wildly competitive divisions and will be run as the fourth and ninth races on Thursday’s 10-race card. Each division of the Riskaverse will be worth $70,000 and will be limited to 10 starters.

The second division came up the stronger of the two heats. All eyes will be on Lisa’s Booby Trap, who won her first four starts on dirt by a combined 42 3/4 lengths but who will now try the turf for the first time against the deepest field she has ever faced.

Tim Snyder, the owner and trainer of Lisa’s Booby Trap, said he believes the turf will be easier on his filly, who is blind her in left eye and has a club foot. He likes the one-mile distance of the race and feels if she breaks well under Kent Desormeaux, Lisa’s Booby Trap has the ability to wire the field.

“You want to run a fresh horse with speed going a mile,” Snyder said. “If I kick on out of there, I’m on the engine. ... I don’t know how fast she is.”

Lisa’s Booby Trap may not be the filly with the most early speed in the field. Queen of the Creek sped off to win a first-level allowance race. That came after two attempts to rating her proved fruitless.

“We’ll let her run how she wants to run, she’ll be fine,” trainer Tom Proctor said. “Whether she’s a good filly or not I don’t know.”

Sea Road, a daughter of Tale of the Cat, may be the horse to beat. She has won 4 of 6 starts on turf with one loss coming to Rose Catherine, who is undefeated in turf sprints. Sea Road came with a strong late run to the Hattie Moseley Stakes by a neck over Snow Top Mountain, who is in the other division of the Riskaverse.

The horse that may offer the most value in the ninth race is Doe Run, who has finished second in three consecutive attempts at the entry-level allowance condition. Last time out, she was sandwiched between next-out winners It’s Tea Time and Beautician. Doe Run cuts back to a mile, the distance of her maiden turf win at Tampa Bay Downs.

“She closed explosively off that [fast] pace,” trainer Will Phipps said. “I’m hoping we get lucky and get that same kind of fast pace. She keeps getting better. Some fillies, you run them a few times and you need to give them a break. She’s coming back begging for more.”

The wildcard in the field is Marseria, an Italian-bred filly who went 2 for 2 in Italy and has since been purchased by Team Valor International and turned over to Jimmy Toner.

The first division of the Riskaverse may not have as accomplished a group as the ninth, but it is still extremely competitive.

Snow Top Mountain has not finished worse than second in six starts, including runner-up finishes in a pair of Grade 3 stakes at Churchill and Arlington. She has since been awarded first-place in the Arlington Park Oaks. Most recently, she finished second, beaten a neck by Sea Road in the Hattie Moseley.

“She got hung in behind a couple of horses that were going nowhere,” Proctor said. “It looked like it took my rider a little while to get around. He felt the same way.”

Sparky’s Dream and Senada finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in a first-level allowance win going 1 3/16 miles. Sparky’s Dream rallied up the rail and while he did bump with another horse seemingly had an easier trip than did Senada.

Trainer Barclay Tagg will add blinkers to Senada’s equipment after jockey Javier Castellano told him that Senada was hesitant to go between horses last time.

In Te Domine, House of Grace, and Awesome Maria, who makes her first start in 11 months and first on turf, are other contenders in the first division of the Riskaverse.