02/09/2005 12:00AM

McLaughlin weighing options


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - In racing, as in most other businesses, it's always good to have options.

On Friday, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will have the option of running either Secret Heart, Binya, or both in Gulfstream Park's $46,000 turf feature. The one-mile money allowance race drew a field of nine fillies and mares, and Secret Heart and Binya will run uncoupled in the wagering if they both start.

McLaughlin said early in the week that he will probably run one of the two in the $100,000 Suwannee River Handicap on Saturday, "but I'm not sure who'll go in which race."

will likely be the favorite if she runs Friday. A 6-year-old daughter of Royal Solo, Binya won both her starts here last winter, including the Grade 3 The Very One Handicap, and has been lightly raced since, having made only three starts since leaving south Florida and none since finishing seventh in Woodbine's Grade 2 Canadian Handicap on Sept. 19.

"She had a few little issues, but she's doing very well at the moment," said McLaughlin, who trains Binya for owner Joseph Allen.

will be making her first start in this country when she runs this weekend, having raced exclusively in her native South Africa before being purchased by Team Valor Stables. Secret Heart has been training extremely well over both the dirt and turf courses at Palm Meadows in preparation for her first start in 11 months.

figures to be the chief obstacle for McLaughlin on Friday. A multiple graded-stakes winner, Sand Springs has been transferred from the barn of Tony Reinstedler to Bill Mott. She will be making her first start since a 3 1/4-length stakes victory at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 25.

A daughter of Dynaformer, Sand Springs won the Grade 3 Regret and Grade 2 Lake Placid Handicap as a 3-year-old in 2003 and has won 2 of her 4 previous starts at the one-mile distance of Friday's main event. Like the McLaughlin duo, she is also nominated to the Suwannee River.

also figures to draw plenty of attention. She comes out of trainer Bobby Frankel's barn off a seven-month freshening. A Group 1 winner in her native Argentina, Potra Fabulous has not started since July 5, when he finished far back in the Grade 2 New York Handicap.

Nannycam, Silver Lace, Sniffles, and Jennaslilprincess figure to be the outsiders in the eight-horse lineup.