02/24/2005 12:00AM

Rematch of Bradley 'Cap top three


NEW ORLEANS - Last month, America Alive came flying down the center of the turf course to win the Col. Bradley Handicap by a head in one of the most thrilling races of this Fair Grounds meet. He finished in front of Honor in War and Rapid Proof, both of whom were closing fast and were separated by a nose for place. All three of those horses will line up again Saturday in the $125,000 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup Handicap, the prep race for the Grade 2, $500,000 Melvin Muniz Memorial Handicap on March 19.

The Bradley was run at 1 1/16 miles and the Fair Grounds BC at 1 1/8 miles, but the way that trio closed in the final furlong, the extra distance Saturday is unlikely to be a factor.

Although the Bradley was his first stakes victory, had already placed in a pair of stakes, missing by a nose in the Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs and closing for third in the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland. He lost by a length that day with a tough trip, and that was the biggest margin of defeat in his six turf starts. His overall record on turf is 3-2-1.

has amassed $875,967 in 23 grass starts (6-4-4), including a win in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in 2003. The Bradley was his first race in two months, and he has been working lights out for trainer Paul McGee.

doesn't have the credentials of the top pair, but is in sharp form. He won on the grass at Keeneland in October and finished a head behind America Alive in both of his starts at Fair Grounds.

Warleigh, winner of the Mardi Gras Handicap in his last start, is the 120-pound highweight Saturday. He has an impressive turf record that includes multiple stakes victories and $595,732 in earnings over 26 grass starts (10-5-2). He is one of two horses entered by trainer by Steve Asmussen. Asmussen also entered Dynareign, who won an off-the-turf event in his last start and will move up if the race comes off the grass.

G P Fleet, who ran poorly last out in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita, has been working well since his return, and trainer Steve Flint said he thinks G P Fleet is ready to return to the form he showed winning the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs in November.

Colorful Judgement won the Grade 2 Sky Classic at Woodbine last year for trainer Mark Frostad. He was eighth in the Bradley, but it was his first race since October and he was beaten less than four lengths. Sea Dub was sixth in the Bradley after pressing the pace, then finished fifth behind Warleigh.