08/27/2006 11:00PM

Safari Queen rules Rumpipumpy


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Safari Queen flashed the form that carried her to a championship in Argentina when she won the $73,700 Rumpipumpy on Monday at Saratoga.

Safari Queen cruised to the lead in the stretch under jockey John Velazquez and finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of 46-1 longshot Gisellous. Pyrana was third.

Safari Queen covered the 1 1/8 miles on the firm inner turf in 1:49.22 and paid $5.90 as the 9-5 favorite.

"It was an easy trip," Velazquez said. "When you have the horse you can do anything you like."

Safari Queen won two Group 1 stakes in Argentina and the 2-year-old title last year. Owned by Arindel Farm, she has been with trainer Todd Pletcher since November and was making her fifth start in the U.S., all on different tracks. In her previous start, she ran fourth in the Politely at Monmouth Park on July 16.

"She had a perfect trip," Pletcher said. "This filly has really come on since her last race. I think a lot of the time these South American fillies are a little upside down when they get here and it takes them a little time to adjust."

Pletcher said Safari Queen's next start will probably be in a graded stakes.

In an earlier stakes race on the card, Judy Soda used a slightly different tactic to win $70,350 Saratoga Dew for New York-breds for the second consecutive year.

Under Edgar Prado in 2005, Judy Soda sat just off the pace before getting up for a three-quarter length victory. Facing four others in the 1 1/8-mile race on Monday, Garrett Gomez was more aggressive early on the 5-year-old mare, and they led from gate to wire in 1:53.17. She paid $3.90.

Gomez was able to maneuver Judy Soda from the 4-hole to the rail and they ticked off fractions of 24.78 seconds, 49.63, 1:14.65, and 1:39.83. Shady Lane closed to within a head at the top of the stretch, but Judy Soda withstood that challenge.

The victory improved her career record to 8-4-4 in 27 starts for owner-breeder Scott Solar.