10/22/2008 12:00AM

Rematch of familiar turf rivals


ELMONT, N.Y. - English Colony, Quietly Mine, and Perfect Casting, who finished one-two-three in an overnight stakes at seven furlongs on the Widener turf last fall, meet again under the same conditions more than a year later in Friday's Father Bill Daly overnight stakes at Belmont Park.

English Colony was one of the best turf sprinters around last year, winning all four of his starts at distances less than a mile, capped by a win over Quietly Mine and Perfect Casting in 1:20.13, just .25 of a second off the Widener course record for seven furlongs.

Three weeks later, English Colony dueled for the lead to deep stretch of the Grade 2 Kelso, and came out of his fifth-place finish with chips in both knees that required surgery.

Sidelined for 11 months, English Colony returned in the Quick Call on closing day at Saratoga, but had trouble early and often behind Salute the Count, who is entered in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

"He just got nailed at the gate and had a terrible trip," trainer Angel Penna Jr. said. "On the grass, he's a solid sprinter; if the trip is good, he will run his race."

English Colony will race without blinkers for the first time.

"The seven-eighths may be just about as far as he can go, so we'll try to get him to relax a little bit," Penna said.

Perfect Casting and Quietly Mine are uncoupled for trainer Christophe Clement, and either 4-year-old gelding is capable of winning. Perfect Casting comes off a career-best performance to win his third-level condition with a 100 Beyer three weeks ago. Quietly Mine won that same condition in his first start at the meet, and drops a peg after failing to threaten in the Grade 2 Nearctic at Woodbine.

Other contenders include the consistent Prince Rahy; Prince Woodman, who was second by a nose in the six-furlong Inside the Beltway on the inner course here in July; and Connecticut Yankee, who tries the grass after winning a first-level allowance on the main track.

Starvinsky, fourth in the $250,000 Turf Monster two back, I'm Only Laughing, and Yankee Master complete the field.

* Joanne K. Adams has been promoted from special events coordinator to the newly created position of community relations manager for Belmont Park.