08/14/2008 12:00AM

Raw Silk ready to rebound

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - After an unsuccessful journey cross-country, Raw Silk returns to New York, where she is likely to catch her preferred course condition and distance in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga.

In May, Raw Silk won the Grade 2 Sands Point, a race run at 1 1/8 miles over a good Belmont Park turf course. Trainer Tom Albertrani then shipped her west for the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park, where she was part of a contested pace before finishing eighth, beaten six lengths by race winner Pure Clan. The American Oaks was run over firm ground at 1 1/4 miles.

"When I got out there she was tucked up a little bit from the journey," Albertrani said by phone Wednesday from his Belmont Park barn. "She looked a little lighter than I'd like to see her, and maybe it was too much to do."

Albertrani said Raw Silk has "been looking a lot better since she came back to New York," and he is hoping for a rebound performance in the Lake Placid.

While Raw Silk is a front-running filly, there is another speed horse in the field in Encanto Park. That filly set the pace before finishing fourth in the rapidly run Grade 3 Boiling Springs in June at Monmouth Park. My Princess Jess, who won the Boiling Springs, came back to win the Lake George here on July 25.

Encanto Park breaks from the rail, while Raw Silk drew post 8.

Much Obliged, who finished a fast-closing second when caught wide in the Boiling Springs, is a major player in the Lake Placid. In five starts this year, Much Obliged has three wins. The Lake Placid will be Much Obliged's first try at 1 1/8 miles.

"I think she should love it," trainer Malcolm Pierce said Wednesday from Canada. "She doesn't have any distance limitations. She's a rateable filly; she relaxes. She's got a very good late kick."

I Lost My Choo, winner of the Grade 3 Virginia Oaks last out, winds up in here after scratching out of a division of the New York Stallion Stakes last week when that race was rained off the turf. I Lost My Choo finished third to Raw Silk in the Sands Point.

"I personally think she can run with any 3-year-old grass filly in the country," trainer Phil Serpe said. "She's special because she's got that desire in her; obviously the ability's there, too."

Backseat Rhythm, Namaste's Wish, Rosa Grace, and Zaskar complete a deep and competitive field.