09/14/2006 12:00AM

Philly-based mare likes Maryland


The classy mare Friel's for Real may be based at Philadelphia Park, but she's no stranger to Laurel, where she has recorded four of her 12 victories.

The 6-year-old Friel's for Real returns to Maryland for Saturday's $100,000 Gala Lil Stakes, a one-mile dirt race for fillies and mares.

Trained by Ned Allard, Friel's for Real won the 2004 Gala Lil and will be making her first start at Laurel since capturing the seven-furlong Maryland Racing Media in February 2005. Her only win in seven starts this year came two races ago when she romped by 5 1/2 lengths in the $100,000 Lady's Secret at Monmouth Park. She has never been off the board in seven starts at Laurel.

Roving Angel and Phyllis Sassy Girl are both coming off Beyer tops.

Roving Angel ships down from Woodbine, where she wired four rivals by 5 1/2 lengths in the $100,000 Belle Mahone Stakes a month ago, earning a 93 Beyer.

Phyllis Sassy Girl steps up following an 85 Beyer for beating high-priced optional claimers by 4 1/4 lengths at Monmouth.

Trainer Dickie Small has a three-horse entry, led by Take a Check and Sticky, both of whom finished ahead of Friel's for Real in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap in July. Small said the third part of the entry, Magical Broad, could be scratched.

Silmaril is a six-time stakes winner, but she's 0 for 7 since beating champion mare Ashado in the Grade 3 Pimlico Distaff in May 2005. Trainer Chris Grove said he's confident the 6-year-old Silmaril, who is 4 for 8 lifetime at Laurel, is moving in the right direction heading into the third start of her form cycle.

"She likes this track and we can run with this group," Grove said. "It is hard to keep a filly going as good as she was last year. She has strung together a couple decent races and she has trained better for this one than those last two, so I am excited to see her run."

Grove said Silmaril, who has finished in the money 14 times in 21 career races, is being pointed to the Maryland Million Distaff on Oct. 14.

Defrere's Venture, who appears to prefer seven furlongs to a mile, has been first or second in six of her last seven starts dating back to August 2005, including a runner-up finish last time out at Laurel.

Pair of turf sprints for 2-year-olds

Maryland-bred 2-year-olds will contest a pair of $50,000 five-furlong turf sprints earlier on the card.

The pedigree play in race 2, the Oliver's Twist, is Chesapeake Affair, whose full brother Christmas Stocking won last year's $100,000 Cherokee Frolic on turf at Calder as a 2-year-old.

Your Flame in Me, dominant winner of a maiden dirt sprint with a huge 88 Beyer, is listed as the 4-5 favorite in the Gin Talking for 2-year-old fillies (race 4).

A filly with an intriguing turf pedigree in race 4 is Disco Dance, a half-sister to Slew the Monster, a two-time turf sprint winner at 2.