09/04/2009 11:00PM

Rice-trained filly has familiar look at Finger


A year ago, trainer Linda Rice brought a 2-year-old filly, owned by the Obviously New York Stable, named Mother Russia to Finger Lakes for the Lady Finger Stakes. Mother Russia, who had won her career debut at Saratoga with a 79 Beyer Speed Figure, won the Lady Finger.

On Monday, Rice returns to Finger Lakes with a filly who looks awfully similar to Mother Russia for this year's edition of the $152,000 Lady Finger for 2-year-old New York-bred fillies.

Hook Me Up, who won her career debut two weeks ago at Saratoga with a 79 Beyer, will try to give Obviously New York Stable its second straight win in the Lady Finger when she meets 10 other juvenile fillies in the six-furlong Labor Day co-feature.

The Lady Finger shares top billing with the $148,062 Aspirant for 2-year-old statebred colts and geldings.

Rice, who has won with 5 of 13 horses she has started at Finger Lakes this season, has a solid contender in Hook Me Up, a daughter of Hook and Ladder. But Rice's filly isn't the fastest in the field.

She will have to cope with Franny Freud, a John Terranova-trained filly who has proven equally adept on dirt and Polytrack.

After dominating three rivals in her career debut at Belmont Park in May, Franny Freud went to Woodbine, where she finished second in the $157,000 My Dear and won the $156,000 Ontario Debutante, both on the synthetic main track, while earning Beyers of 84 and 87.

Franny Freud is not only the lone stakes winner in the Lady Finger, but also the only horse with more than a maiden victory to her credit.

None of the others in the field has posted a Beyer within 25 points of the two logical favorites.

The six-furlong Aspirant looks a little more difficult to handicap, with four horses showing first-out Beyers between 68 and 72.

Of that group, the Todd Pletcher-trained Ibboye and the Kiaran McLaughlin colt Dahlgren Chapel are likely to vie for favoritism.

Ibboye just got up to win his career debut at Saratoga a month ago. Pletcher seldom ships to Finger Lakes, but did finish second in last year's Aspirant with Spanky Fischbein.

Dahlgren Chapel won first time out at Belmont Park, then closed ground in the stretch to be beaten less than two lengths against open company in the Tyro at Monmouth Park.

The locally based Persian Ruler romped by 7 1/2 lengths in his career debut on Aug. 21 and remains fit, as evidenced by his four-furlong bullet workout on Sept. 2.

The fourth horse to fear is Lord Jet, a winner over the Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs in his first start. He shows four consecutive bullet works locally since Aug. 2.