05/14/2003 11:00PM

Rain may keep 'Risk' in New York


When he's not watching the races, trainer Pat Kelly is viewing the Weather Channel. He will certainly be glued to the all-weather station during the hours leading up to Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico.

Riskaverse, who last fall won the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth at Keeneland, is the headliner of a 14-horse field entered in the Gallorette, run at 1 1/16 miles on the Pimlico turf. But Kelly is not certain he will send Riskaverse to Baltimore for the race.

"Weather's a concern,'' Kelly said from his Belmont Park base Thursday. "We just entered to look it over. I'm in no hurry to run her, that's the bottom line. It's a starting point, that's all. We weren't ready for the Beaugay.''

The Grade 3 Beaugay was won by Delta Princess May 3 at Aqueduct.

Riskaverse, who finished seventh in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, has shown the ability to handle off turf, winning the Sands Point last June over a yielding Belmont course. Her Queen Elizabeth victory came over ground labeled "good." Still, it may be a lot to ask for Riskaverse to make her first start in six months on off turf.

"If we don't run, we still got the race on Belmont Day,'' Kelly said, referring to the Just a Game Breeders' Cup Handicap June 7. "That's the race we're trying to get to.''

If Riskaverse doesn't run Saturday, the horse to beat may be La Belle Simone. An Irish-bred daughter of Grand Lodge, La Belle Simone won two starts over yielding or good ground in France last year before coming to trainer Christophe Clement's barn.

In her North American debut last month at Keeneland, La Belle Simone drifted extremely wide turning for home after making the lead. She righted herself in the stretch and missed by just a nose in a second-level allowance race.

Clement scratched La Belle Simone out of an overnight stakes race Thursday at Belmont in hopes of finding soft ground at Pimlico. Edgar Prado, who was named on Riskaverse and La Belle Simone, will ride La Belle Simone.

Trainer John Kimmel is high on Affirmed Dancer, who comes off a third-level allowance win at nine furlongs at Keeneland April 18. Pat Day takes the mount as Jerry Bailey, who rode Affirmed Dancer that day, will ride Saranac Lake for Bill Mott.

"She won on yielding turf at Keeneland in a very gallant effort,'' Kimmel said. "She's got a lot of try and she's doing well. My filly is dead fit.''

Saranac Lake also won a third-level allowance race at Keeneland at one mile. At 2, Saranac Lake won a Group 3 race over soft ground, but has yet to win beyond one mile.