05/22/2008 11:00PM

With Mauralakana away, Eclisse will play


MIAMI - After taking on multiple Grade 3 winner Mauralakana in each of her last three starts, at distances ranging from nine to 12 furlongs, Eclisse should find both the competition and mere one mile distance of Sunday's Sara's Success Stakes at Calder just the tonic for getting back on the winning track for the first time since the fall of 2006 in her native France.

Eclisse set the pace into the stretch in each of her last four starts, including the Grade 3 Orchid and The Very One handicaps at Gulfstream Park, and the Mairzy Doates Handicap at Calder on April 26.

Mauralakana won 2 of those 3 races, and finished second behind Hostess in the 1 1/2-mile Orchid.

But with Mauralakana and J'ray - who finished a close second in the Mairzy Doates - having left the area and gone to Belmont Park, where they were to renew acquaintances in Saturday's Sheepshead Bay Handicap, Eclisse will be tough to catch in the Sara's Success.

Eclisse, a 4-year-old daughter of Ski Chief, won 3 of 6 starts as a 2-year-old in France, but has failed to find the winners circle in nine starts since shipping to the U.S. at 3.

Eight of the nine races were in stakes. Eclisse's best effort in this country came earlier this winter when she finished third under third-level optional claiming and allowance conditions going 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream.

Eclisse will carry 119 pounds under the allowance conditions of the Sara's Success, and Javier Santiago will ride. She is one of two horses in the Sara's Success trained by Marty Wolfson, the other being Dancing Band, who has not started since finishing 10th and last in the Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine on Nov. 10.

Pretoria Light has also held her own with some top-class filly and mare turfers over the past six months. She finished a game second to Rutherienne in the Grade 3 Frances Genter Stakes last year in her 3-year-old finale and fourth behind Grade 1 winners Dreaming of Anna and Lear's Princess in the Endeavour Stakes this winter at Tampa. She'll return to the grass on Sunday after finishing a tiring fifth over the main track in the Emergency Nurse Stakes, and she figures to chase Eclisse from the outset.

The Sara's Success also marks the return of Cozzi Capital, who has not started since finishing a troubled seventh in the Genter. Earlier, Cozzi Capital won the 2007 Calder Oaks.

Lopezes light it up

Apprentice Paco Lopez again tightened the jockey race Thursday by winning three consecutive races, including the co-featured races 6 and 8 aboard, respectively, the 19-1 Arrow's Flight and rail-skimming Steady Slew.

Lopez was denied a fourth win when taken down from an apparent victory aboard the pace-setting Officers'gentleman.

The three-bagger pulled Lopez within two victories of Manoel Cruz, who held a 22-20 advantage over the young bug rider entering Friday's program.

It was a big day all around for the riding Lopezes here on Thursday. In addition to Paco Lopez's three wins, seven-pound apprentice Maynor Lopez won the opener aboard the well-backed first-time starter Sarahthetiger, and journeyman Jose Lopez won the finale with the odds-on Awesome Frolic.

The three Lopezes are not related.