08/05/2005 11:00PM

Looking to rebound

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Rey de Cafe (right), winning the Hill Prince, runs in Monday's Grade 2 Hall of Fame at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - In an effort that his connections believe was too bad to be true, finished last in the Grade 3 Virginia Derby on July 16 at Colonial Downs. Rusty Arnold, Rey de Cafe's trainer, said he hopes the Virginia Derby effort reflected the condition of the turf, which became soaked by rain when the skies opened up about 30 minutes before the race.

Arnold will find out where he stands with Rey de Cafe when he runs him in Monday's $150,000 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame for 3-year-olds at Saratoga.

"I know he ran well before on courses that were off, but that last effort was so uncharacteristic," Arnold said. "He came back so well and is acting himself."

Rey de Cafe entered the Virginia Derby following back-to-back wins in Grade 3 stakes, the American Turf and Hill Prince.

Javier Castellano rides Rey de Cafe from the rail in the nine-horse field.

Reel Legend is still looking for his first win on the turf in the 1 1/8-mile Hall of Fame, but his trainer, Jimmy Jerkens, said he thinks Reel Legend might be better on the grass.

Reel Legend enters the Grade 2 Hall of Fame off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Lexington at Belmont last month. Ridden by Jose Santos, Reel Legend was beaten less than a length for the win by Woodlander.

"I thought it was a great race," said Jerkens, who won this race last year with Artie Schiller and has won two stakes at this meet. "[Santos] tried to do the right thing and rated him, but the field came over on him and he dropped back to last. When he found a seam, he came running."

Santos rides from post 9.

An interesting runner is , who makes his turf debut for Bobby Frankel. High Limit, who has a turf pedigree - his dam is by Known Fact - began the year on the Triple Crown trail. After winning the Louisiana Derby in March, High Limit finished last in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Preakness.

"I think he'll be able to handle it," said Frankel. "He's got a good foot [for turf]."

Prince Rahy figures in the mix following in-the-money finishes in stakes in his last three starts, including a third-place finish in the Lexington.

T. D. Vance is coming off a win at the Hall of Fame distance in a Woodbine stakes.

Crown Point, Holy Ground, Interpatation, and Silver Whistle complete the field.