06/20/2008 11:00PM

Mauralakana aims to build on last


ELMONT, N.Y. - Mauralakana will be a short-priced favorite to continue her ascension through the filly and mare turf division when she heads a five-horse field in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 New York Stakes at Belmont Park.

Purchased as a broodmare prospect by owner Robert Scarborough, Mauralakana has displayed a devastating turn of foot in her last two starts that may convince Scarborough to delay the mare's trip to the breeding shed. According to trainer Christophe Clement, Mauralakana is scheduled to run Saturday and then in the Beverly D. at Arlington Park in August before becoming a broodmare in the fall in Australia.

Clement said Scarborough will evaluate Mauralakana after the Beverly D. before determining if he sticks with that plan or opts to make a run at the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf in the fall at Santa Anita.

Mauralakana enters the New York off the best race of her career in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay. Relaxing nicely under Kent Desormeaux, Mauralakana uncorked a scintillating move from the five-sixteenths pole to the eighth pole that carried her to a three-length victory.

"She was very impressive," Clement said. "She's run well for us all winter. But she was a nice filly as a 3-year-old in France, she was a nice filly with Patrick Biancone last year. If she runs anywhere near to her last race, she should be very competitive."

Though the New York is no longer a handicap, the allowance conditions of the race dictate that Mauralakana carry 123 pounds, a concession of 3 to 7 pounds to the field. Desormeaux rides Mauralakana from post 3.

In March, Mauralakana beat Tejida by a neck in the Grade 3 The Very One Handicap at Gulfstream. Saturday, Mauralakana will give Tejida - the likely pacesetter - seven pounds.

"I'll be in front at the start, but I don't know if I'll be in front at the finish line," said Michael Matz, trainer of Tejida.

Hostess is the only mare to have defeated Mauralakana this year, that coming in the Grade 3 Orchid Handicap at Gulfstream. But, Hostess has also been defeated by Mauralakana twice this year, including a third-place finish behind her in the Sheepshead Bay.

Dynaforce makes her North American debut for trainer Bill Mott and owner/breeder John Chandler, who campaigned her in Europe. In September 2006, Dynaforce was beaten 2 1/2 lengths by 2007 Eclipse Award winner Lahudood. Dynaforce gets Lasix for the first time.

Archstone completes the field on turf. Spring Waltz was entered in the event the race comes off the turf.