01/24/2008 12:00AM

Morghyn finds spot in series


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Tampa Bay Downs kicks off this season's Tampa Turf Test on Saturday with five-time winner Morghyn and Starlight Serenade, who finished a close second in his first start for Javier Contreras's stable last time out, topping their respective divisions at about a mile.

The Turf Test is a four-leg series of starter allowance races on the grass, with distances that increase up to 1 3/8 miles. Some runners have been pointing for the series, but for Morghyn, a 5-year-old mare, it's more a case of her trainer finding a race that will fill.

"She's been in the position where she's not eligible for some of the allowance races here, and when we've entered in some of the races she is eligible for, the races haven't gone," said Mike Feichtinter, assistant to trainer Forrest Kaelin. "She's probably at her best at a mile to a mile and a sixteenth, so this spot Saturday fits her well, and she ran a decent race to our other mare, Patricia, in her first start down here."

Morghyn won 4 of 12 starts last season, splitting her time between Tampa and the Kentucky circuit. She won her finale here in February, then came off a short break to win over the Polytrack at Keeneland. Later in the summer, she won back-to-back races on the dirt at Churchill and Ellis Park. She has yet to win on the turf but has several good grass efforts, including her last start, when she was beaten four lengths by Patricia in a race that was a prep for the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes here on Feb. 16.

Wrong Answer, who comes into Saturday's filly and mare race off a win and a second on the turf, tops the challengers to Morghyn along with Couple Whiles, who goes for her fourth straight turf win for trainer Bernell Rhone.

Leading the colts and geldings division is Starlight Serenade, claimed by Contreras for Mike Buccina for $32,000 at Calder in October. In his first start for his new connections here, Starlight Serenade got in some traffic trouble and was beaten just a length in a tough allowance won by British Blue.

Bridled Quest has two big wins on the main track leading into Saturday's race. Judith's Lake, who has a win and a second on the grass here this season, makes his first start for trainer Mike Dini.