11/24/2010 2:49PM

Qualia looks raring to go for Top Flight

Barbara D. Livingston
Qualia failed to draw into the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – For more than a month, Qualia has been all dressed up with nowhere to run. Three weeks ago, she failed to crack into the field for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Two weeks ago, an overnight stakes at Aqueduct failed to fill.

Without another option and with a filly that indicates she’s ready to run, Qualia is entered in Friday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Top Flight Handicap at one mile over Aqueduct’s main track. While trainer Robert Ribaudo wasn’t necessarily looking to run Qualia a mile, the fact she could be the controlling speed over a potentially wet surface could make her dangerous.

Qualia won four of her first six starts, which included a debut victory in the slop at Belmont and a front-running victory in a second-level allowance going one mile at Gulfstream Park. After a hard-luck head loss to Rightly So in the Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses at Belmont in July, things went awry for Qualia. Her saddle slipped and she was basically eased in the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga. In September, she chased a hot early pace and finished fourth in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont.

“My concern would be is she too fresh to get the mile,” said Ribaudo.

Sara Louise comes into the Top Flight – a race she won last year – off a sixth-place finish in the BC Filly and Mare Sprint, a race in which she simply walked out of the starting gate under Frankie Dettori and was last of 13 early. She has since come back with a bullet half-mile workout in 47 seconds over Belmont’s main track.

“I will say she certainly acts like she’s got run in her,” Godolphin assistant Rick Mettee said.

In her only start over a wet surface, Sara Louise won the Grade 3 Victory Ride Stakes at Saratoga.

Funny Moon is 4 for 5 at a one-turn mile, including a victory in the Grade 2 Shuvee at Belmont in May. Her three other wins at a one-turn mile came over wet tracks. She is coming off a nose loss to Our Khrysty – who is also in this field – in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm last month at Belmont.

“She’s been successful in the slop, she’s doing great, I’m excited about her,” trainer Christophe Clement said.

Spacy Tracy, Way With Words, and R Betty Graybull complete the field.