10/18/2009 11:00PM

Not for Silver's odds won't reflect his talent


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - When the field reaches the starting gate for Saturday's Grade 3 Perryville Stakes at Keeneland, odds are the public will have focused primarily on two runners, Jim Dandy runner-up Warrior's Reward and Kentucky Cup Sprint winner El Brujo.

I won't be buying that the Perryville is merely a two-horse race. I see contention running deeper and potentially a horse slipping through the wagering cracks - that being Not for Silver.

Although an accomplished sprinter who won the Grade 2 Carry Back earlier in the year, he doesn't fit the profile of horses the public likes to bet in stakes races at Keeneland. He has run exclusively on dirt, unlike the Polytrack-proven El Brujo, and his company lines lack the star names of those of Warrior's Reward, who has raced against the likes of Summer Bird, Hold Me Back, Quality Road, and Munnings.

What Not for Silver does have is a 4-for-9 race record and three Beyer Speed Figures of 92 or higher. Aside from Warrior's Rewards best numbers, those figures are competitive with the leading contenders.

He also comes off a deceptively good fourth behind older horses in a swiftly run Maryland Million Sprint that unfolded with a slow pace, which negated Not for Silver's late kick.

As for trying a synthetic track for the first time, it is the unknown. He could love it or hate it.

But I have been encouraged by how trainer Mike Trombetta's horses have performed on such surfaces. Over the past two years, he has won at a 21 percent clip with synthetic runners, and many, like this horse, made the dirt-to-synthetic move.

As for Warrior's Reward, he is the most probable winner, but at a short price, and having let down his backers as the favorite previously, he looms an underlay.

El Brujo, meanwhile, was a perfect-trip winner of the Kentucky Cup Sprint, and despite a flashy 98 Beyer, beat mediocre stakes-quality 3-year-olds by a small margin.

QE II: Lots to like about Blind Date

If you didn't happen to see Gozzip Girl's last race in the last month at Belmont Park, check the replay. It was nightmarish.

On the inside into the first turn, she grew rank when the pace slowed to a crawl, clipping heels and nearing dumping jockey Kent Desormeaux. Showing her athleticism, she stayed on her feet and recovered to make an early move down the backstretch before flattening out to finish fourth.

Here's the problem - off that race, she is going to get hammered in the betting in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, perhaps even more so than if she had won the Garden City with a clean trip.

She is a top-class filly - the leader of the division, in fact - but there are some nice fillies facing her.

As a value-priced alternative to the favorite, I like Blind Date. Coming off a pair of fast dirt races, she is returning to her best surface on the grass and is favorably drawn on the outside in a field with little pace.

Jockey Robby Albarado is in a perfect position in that he can let her comfortably go to the lead if no one wants it, or if some other horse is sent early, let her sit in a stalking position in second place - a position from which she has already won.

Another potential bonus is the expected turf condition. She won Grade 3 Virginia Oaks on soft ground over the QE II's distance of 1 1/8 miles, and with rain forecasted leading up to Saturday, a wet course is anticipated.

E.P.Taylor: Treat Gently offers value

Speaking of wet courses, Woodbine's turf course figures to be similarly soggy Saturday for the E.P. Taylor and Canadian International - provided the weathermen are correct in predicting rain, perhaps even snow, leading up to Saturday.

Rainbow View, a winner of two Group 1 races in Europe, is a deserving favorite. But if she fails to fire in her first start in North America, the race becomes wide open, and the potential exists for a rewarding payoff.

The value play is Treat Gently, who won on soft going overseas and has already scored in North America, taking a slow-paced allowance at Belmont with a powerful late burst.

Although the race earned her just a 93 Beyer, she won with authority, and showed the turn of foot indicative of a classy turf horse.