09/12/2002 12:00AM

For Rubies' record at distance belies talent


In her last six races dating back to late April, 3-year-old filly For Rubies has been in front after the first six furlongs, yet her record at that sprint distance is only 1 for 6 lifetime.

For Rubies, whose greatest success has come in races beyond six furlongs but no longer than a mile, shortens up for Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Safely Kept Stakes at Pimlico.

A two-time stakes winner for trainer Lynn Whiting this year, For Rubies will be asked to race six furlongs for the first time since she won the Goldfinch Stakes at Prairie Meadows on April 26.

Kentucky-based shipper Miss Lodi and New York invader Zawzooth look like the most formidable challengers in the eight-horse field. Both are three-time winners this year, but will be making their stakes debuts.

Wilzada, a filly stabled at nearby Laurel Park, was sharp enough in the spring to finish a close third in the Grade 2 Nassau County at Belmont Park and comes into the Safely Kept off sharp back-to-back wins at Delaware and Laurel.