06/21/2006 11:00PM

Potra Clasica in safe spot


MIAMI - Trainer Marty Wolfson had contemplated sending Potra Clasica to Virginia this weekend for the All Along Stakes at Colonial Downs. Instead, he opted to keep his two-time stakes winner home at Calder for Saturday's $45,000 Liberada Stakes.

From the looks of things, Wolfson made a very wise choice.

Had Potra Clasica gone to Colonial, she would have wound up facing Film Maker, who has hit the board in each of the last two editions of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, Latice, and Wend. Instead she is strictly the one to beat in the Liberada, carded at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

has not started since posting a gate-to-wire 1 3/4-length victory in the Hollywood Wildcat Breeders' Cup Handicap on April 29. The win was the first in four starts this season for Potra Clasica, who was also fourth after setting the pace in the Grade 3 The Very One Handicap over the Gulfstream Park turf on March 4 and fourth in the Grade 3 Sabin Handicap on the main track two weeks earlier.

Potra Clasica, a 5-year-old Argentine-bred mare, was sold privately to Charles Miller after the Hollywood Wildcat. She will pick up nine pounds and carry high weight of 123 pounds under the allowance conditions of the Liberada. Abel Castellano Jr. will ride Potra Clasica for the first time on Saturday.

Formal Miss, a late-running second to Potra Clasica in the Hollywood Wildcat, will seek to reverse that decision in the rematch. A hard-knocking 6-year-old Formal Dinner mare, Formal Miss has been among the leaders of the local filly and mare turf division for the past several seasons despite being winless since her 4-year-old campaign.

prepped for the Liberada by finishing a troubled and late-striding second in the five-furlong No Winking Stakes last weekend. She wore blinkers in that race for the first time in eight starts. She will be in receipt of four pounds from Potra Clasica while again ridden by the meet's leading jockey, Manoel Cruz.

is among the other key contenders in a field that also includes Chancey Light, Out of Pride, Tasha Sangue, Baena, Bobcat Greeley, Mabel Syrup, and Alisa's Hope.

The Liberada will be run as the sixth race on a 13-race card that also includes the $45,000 Lord Juban Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf.

Wolfson may also have the favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Lord Juban with Stradivinsky. Also likely to attract betting is World Battle.

Stradivinsky is coming off a wire-to-wire 3 1/4-length first-level allowance victory in his first start since being transferred to Wolfson's barn during the spring. On Saturday, he figures to get tested for the lead by Jet Propulsion and Mannakish.

World Battle also led throughout to capture the faster division of a split entry-level allowance race in his last start, but he is a versatile sort who rallied from last to finish third behind Mr. Silver and Go Between in the Sophomore Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on April 8.