12/28/2007 12:00AM

Maryland Juvenile Championship a scramble

EmailTide Dancer, Apple Special, and Regal Solo are the only horses in Saturday's $50,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship at Laurel Park with more than a maiden win to their credit, but that doesn't give them a significant edge over the other six Maryland-bred 2-year-olds in the field.

In fact, the one-mile Juvenile Championship is so evenly matched that the track's morning-line favorite, Smooth It Over, is a lukewarm 4-1. Smooth It Over, a $107,000 auction purchase last May, scored the lone win of his five-race career in a maiden sprint at Delaware Park 2 1/2 months ago.

Tide Dancer, Apple Special, and Regal Solo probably need to run faster than they ever have before in order to win. Tide Dancer finished far back after setting the pace in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct last time out. Apple Special is stretching out to a mile off a win in the slop. Regal Solo narrowly upset the seven-furlong Maryland Million Nursery.

The average winning Beyer Speed Figure for the last six runnings of the Juvenile is an 81, which is 4 points higher than Apple Special earned in his sprint win on Nov. 15, 7 points above the figure Tide Dancer was awarded for his win over first-level allowance runners at Delaware in early November, and 9 points more than Regal Solo got for his nose victory over Smooth It Over in the Oct. 13 Nursery.

Regal Solo will be reunited with Ryan Fogelsonger, who was aboard for both his victories, and returns to the main track after a failed experiment on turf in last month's Laurel Futurity.

"This is a tough race," Fogelsonger said. "It looks like the horse that gets the best trip will win. What I like about my horse is he has improved every time I have ridden him and he still doesn't know what he is doing yet."

Wonder Mon and Blood Moon merit respect.

Wonder Mon, a son of 1995 juvenile champion Maria's Mon, came from far back to win his career debut going six furlongs, but has not raced since that Aug. 11 maiden race. He comes from the high-percentage barn of Gary Capuano, who is 4 for 19 (21 percent) with second-time starters switching from sprints to routes.

Blood Moon, based in New York with trainer Todd Pletcher, finished third in his first trip to Laurel on Nov. 10. He will add blinkers for Saturday's race. Pletcher has been a potent 6 for 11 (55 percent) using blinkers for the first time over the past two years.