08/28/2008 11:00PM

Red-hot Ward eyes stakes repeat


MIAMI - Trainer Wesley Ward has been on fire at Saratoga, where he's winning at a 40 percent clip. He has been even hotter this summer at Calder, where he's winning races at an almost unheard of 54 percent mark during the current session.

"It's been a great summer, in fact a great year, since we also did really well in Kentucky," Ward said by phone from Saratoga on Friday. "Unfortunately I'm working out of only 18 stalls down there at Calder, and while we're obviously doing extremely well, it's been a nightmare shuffling horses around. It's going to get worse, too, because I've already sent a van load of horses down from Saratoga, some who have already won up here, and have a bunch more I'd like to get down there when the meet ends here next week."

One horse who has been on the grounds and working up a storm is My Sweet Natalie, a 2-year-old daughter of Bring the Heat who will attempt to defend Ward's title in next Saturday's $60,000 Catcharisingstar Stakes on the turf. Ward won the race last summer with Excessive Heat. My Sweet Natalie recently worked three furlongs here in 33.60 seconds.

"She's training great," said Ward, who also plans to unveil a new apprentice rider, Bryan Pena, during the week.

"Bryan's been with me for three years and he's going to be a great rider," Ward said.

Rgirldoesn'tbluff set for a win

Rgirldoesn'tbluff is winless in 2008. The upside to that seemingly negative statistic is that it makes her eligible for Sunday's $55,000 Barb's Dancer Stakes, a seven-furlong dash for fillies and mares who have not won a stakes with a winner's share of $35,000 or higher this season.

Rgirldoesn'tbluff was among the leading members of her division here less than a year ago after posting back-to-back victories in the U Can Do It Handicap and Sugar N Spice Stakes. The 5-year-old daughter of Pine Bluff has lost all five of her starts this season, although she has turned in some big tries including a second-place finish behind the odds-on Sugar Swirl in Gulfstream Park's Grade 3 First Lady Handicap and a near-miss in defense of her title in the U Can Do It.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle facing Rgirldoesn'tbluff in her quest to get back to winning form is the distance as she's never won a race beyond

6 1/2 furlongs. She is also at her best when able to relax on the lead, and the only other member of the field who appears to have enough speed to give her an early challenge also comes from the barn of leading trainer Kirk Ziadie - the inconsistent Silver Envoy.

Silver Envoy returned from more than nine months on the sidelines to win a second-level optional claiming race in gate-to-wire fashion here earlier this month. The win was the third in the last five starts for the daughter of French Envoy, who was claimed by Ziadie for owner Peter Lawson for $40,000 during September of 2007.

Rgirldoesn'tbluff, who is owned by Richard Averill, and Silver Envoy will run as separate betting interests in the Barb's Dancer.

Saratoga Tango, who finished in front of Rgirldoesn'tbluff when a late-running second in the Ema Bovary Stakes on Aug. 3, will need some pace help if she's to post her first stakes success. She also finished a troubled fourth earlier this meet in the U Can Do It.

Precisely That has captured 4 of her last 5 starts but will get tested for class when stepping up into stakes company for the first time off a steady diet of starter allowance races.