11/02/2006 1:00AM

Prospective Saint has sprint speed


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Horseplayers analyzing Saturday's Very Subtle Stakes on the Breeders' Cup undercard at Churchill Downs might feel as if they have seen the race before.

Five of the 14 entrants in the six-furlong, $200,000 race were also entered in Thursday's one-mile Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs. With both races being run around one turn for fillies and mares, the connections of these five - Indian Flare, Joint Effort, Prospective Saint, Trippi Street, and Humorous Gal - entered both spots and weighed their options.

According to trainer Marty Wolfson, Prospective Saint will race in the Very Subtle. She was an early scratch from the Chilukki Stakes on Thursday morning.

A Saint Ballado mare who has earned more than $483,000 for owner Charles Miller, she has the speed and versatility to handle the cut-back to six furlongs after running in longer races. Although her most notable victory in 2006 came at a mile, in the Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park, she has raced effectively in sprints.

"Going three-quarters, she has run some exceptionally good numbers," said Wolfson.

Indeed she has. Her career-best Beyer Speed Figure, a 105, came when she was second to Malibu Mint in the Grade 1, six-furlong Princess Rooney Stakes. In that race she ran 3 3/4 lengths behind Malibu Mint, a Breeders' Cup Sprint starter.

What Prospective Saint lacks is a strong last race. She finished sixth in the Sept. 30 Turfway Park Breeders' Cup, a loss Wolfson attributes to her not running to her potential over an unfamiliar Polytrack surface.

Later on Saturday, Wolson will start Pomeroy and Miesque's Approval in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and Mile, respectively. Eddie Castro will ride both of those horses in addition to Prospective Saint.

Two horses likely to be scratched from the Very Subtle in favor of the Chilukki Stakes are Joint Effort and Trippi Street, their connections said.

Their withdrawal would benefit True and True, who sits at 15-1 on the morning line despite coming off two triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. She ran second behind Grade 1 winner Behaving Badly in the Rancho Bernardo at Del Mar on Aug. 18 and followed that race with a fast second-level allowance win at Santa Anita on Oct. 12.

She is trained by Wesley Ward and owned by a partnership of Ward, Diverse Lending, and Academy Award-winning actor Joe Pesci.