09/18/2002 11:00PM

Preps for some, key day for others


MIAMI - For Florida Stallion Stakes contenders such as Ivanavinalot, Heavenly Miss, and Trust N Luck, Saturday's $100,000 Brave Raj and $100,000 Foolish Pleasure Stakes will offer an opportunity to stretch out around two turns for the first time while prepping for the rich finales of the Stallion Series Oct. 12.

But for promising 2-year-olds such as Puxa Saco, Mary Murphy, Unbridels King, Super Frolic, and others not eligible for the Stallion Stakes, the mile and 70-yard Brave Raj and Foolish Pleasure will be the last chance to run in a stakes going two turns on the main track at Calder until December.

Ivanavinalot was an easy winner of the seven-furlong Susan's Girl Stakes, middle leg of the filly division of the Stallion Stakes, on Aug. 30. She would solidify her status as the favorite for the $400,000 My Dear Girl Stakes with another big performance in the Brave Raj, for 2-year-old fillies.

"She's doing so well now I couldn't hold her on the ground for another three weeks without getting a race into her," said Kathleen O'Connell, who trains Ivanavinalot for owner-breeder Gil Campbell. "And besides, I'd like to get a two-turn race under her belt before the My Dear Girl."

Although Ivanavinalot led throughout in the Susan's Girl, O'Connell doesn't expect her to be in front on Saturday.

"She doesn't need to be in front to win," said O'Connell. "In fact I'd prefer she was not on the lead. She had the 1 post in the Susan's Girl, which kind of forced our hand a little."

There are plenty of speed horses among the seven others in the Brave Raj, including Heavenly Miss, Puxa Saco, and Mary Murphy.

Heavenly Miss finished second after forcing the pace in each of the first two legs of the Stallion Stakes. She also won the J j'sdream Stakes earlier this summer.

Puxa Saco won her first two starts and should be a pace factor throughout as she stretches out around two turns for the first time.

Mary Murphy was an impressive winner of her debut but turned in a dull performance when he ran sixth as the 2-5 favorite under first-level allowance conditions two weeks later.

Trust N Luck will hopefully have better luck in the Foolish Pleasure, for 2-year-olds, than in his previous start, when he wheeled and lost his rider shortly after the start as the 4-5 favorite in the Affirmed division of the Stallion Stakes.

While Trust N Luck is obviously a talented colt, he may be at a disadvantage making his two-turn debut in the Foolish Pleasure against proven distance runners such as Unbridels King, R. Association, Sea Pleasure, and Global Peace.

Unbridels King won his maiden going a mile on Aug. 24, and trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. feels the experience should help his chances in the Foolish Pleasure.

"I think the horses that have already been two turns have a definite edge over those who'll be trying it for the first time," said Plesa.

R. Associate outfinished Sea Pleasure and Global Peace to win a preliminary allowance race going a mile Aug. 31 and should get a similar trip off what figures to be an honest pace in the Foolish Pleasure.

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