07/20/2005 11:00PM

Not her best game, but With Patience able to shorten up


With Patience is far more accomplished going two turns on turf than she is sprinting. But the few times the 6-year-old With Patience has been asked to shorten up, she has proven capable.

An easy winner going 1 1/16 miles three weeks ago, With Patience will cut back to 5 1/2 furlongs for Saturday's $60,000 Somethingroyal Stakes for Virginia-bred fillies and mares at Colonial Downs.

Out of her 28 lifetime starts, With Patience, owned and trained by Elizabeth Merryman, has sprinted on grass only four times, winning twice and finishing third the other two times.

With Patience won the 2004 Somethingroyal with a 91 Beyer and is 3 for 4 at Colonial. Although she is the co-highweight at 124 pounds, With Patience spots her rivals no more than four pounds.

The only other horse in the Somethingroyal field who has come anywhere close to With Patience's last three Beyer Speed Figures of 93, 93, and 94 is Bright Gold.

A 5-year-old trained by Mary Eppler, Bright Gold was winless in five starts on grass until she won the 5 1/2-furlong Buckland at Colonial in late June, earning an 84 Beyer. Her come-from-behind 1 3/4-length win was impressive in that jockey Horacio Karamanos had to steady at the three-eighths pole and take her six wide to get clear for the stretch run.

With Patience and Bright Gold would both have to regress for any of the other six horses to have a realistic shot.

Cobbley's Jewel has won her first two starts of the season, both at Colonial, and is 3 for 3 lifetime over the course, but she has been facing far easier competition. The last time she tried a restricted stakes, Cobbley's Jewel won going 1 1/16 miles.

Maidintheshade shows a 2-for-3 record at Colonial and was beaten a half-length by Cobbley's Jewel in her most recent start.