08/30/2005 11:00PM

Richards has dominant pair


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The entry of Financingavailable and Sweet Problem could pack a powerful one-two punch for trainer Lorne Richards in Friday's Woodbine feature, a $100,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares.

Financingavailable, a stakes performer on the grass, was sold by trainer Mark Casse to owner K.K. Sangara and Richards in the summer of 2004. In her first start for her new connections, she was a close second to Blonde Executive in the La Prevoyante Stakes after dueling up front with that rival throughout the one-mile turf race.

Financingavailable won her next three outings, including the Jammed Lovely Stakes on the main track, for which she received a whopping Beyer Speed Figure of 98. She got the winter off after the Nov. 14 Jammed Lovely, and then resurfaced on the grass here June 19, in the Zadracarta Stakes, finishing third behind Velvet Snow and Cricket Wicket.

Richards put Financingavailable back on the dirt for her most recent start, in a $62,500 optional claimer July 17, and saw her prevail by five lengths over a muddy track with a Beyer Figure of 95. He bypassed the Victoriana Stakes with her Aug. 21, and should have her cranked up for this engagement.

Sweet Problem had a lucrative 2004 campaign, winning 4 of 10 races for earnings of $249,205. She captured the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow Stakes on turf, and also placed in two dirt stakes, the Grade 2 Selene and the Hill 'n' Dale.

Sweet Problem was a well-beaten seventh without Lasix in her lone appearance this year, in a July 10 allowance sprint on the grass. She runs for a $100,000 claiming price on Friday.

Jim McAleney, named on both parts of the entry, is 6 for 21 at the meeting when riding for Richards.

Expect an Angel could be the main threat in the seven-furlong contest.

Expect an Angel sprung a 39-1 upset when she took the Grade 3 Chaposa Springs Handicap at Calder in December. She ran third behind a pair of next-out winners, Fifth Overture and Deputy Cures Blues, in the seven-furlong Sweet Briar Too Stakes here July 3, and defeated $80,000 opposition after weaving her way through traffic Aug. 11.

* Invitational heads Friday's ninth and final race, a nine-furlong first-level allowance for fillies and mares on the grass. Invitational, who graduated in her first turf attempt July 7, has improved with each subsequent start in the Beyer department. Last time out, she rallied wide to finish second behind European invader Silver Highlight in the 1 1/4-mile Wonder Where Stakes.