10/26/2007 12:00AM

Salty Cheeks vs. Izzy Speaking in Elser

EmailSalty Cheeks, a recent maiden winner, and Izzy Speaking, who has hit the board twice in six-figure stakes, are the top contenders in the second of two $50,000 restricted stakes for 2-year-olds on Sunday's card at Philadelphia Park.

The Donna Freyer (race 7) for fillies and the Christopher Elser Memorial (race 8) for colts and geldings are restricted to 2-year-olds who spent at least 90 days in South Carolina and had a nomination fee paid to the South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Both races will be contested at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Izzy Speaking, based in Maryland with Hamilton Smith, has not been worse than third in five starts. He was second in the $110,000 Tremont at Belmont Park in July and third, beaten by only a head, in the $142,000 Maryland Million Nursery last time out.

The 72 Beyer Speed Figure that Izzy Speaking earned matches the number Salty Cheeks was awarded for his two-length win over maidens in his career debut on Oct. 13 at Philly Park. If Salty Cheeks moves forward at all off that race, as many young horses do in their second race, he will be formidable.

Salty Cheeks, who will be adding Lasix, is a son of Salt Lake, who won three graded stakes as a juvenile, including the Grade 1 Hopeful.

The fastest filly coming into the Freyer is Vain Vixen, a New York-bred who improved her Beyer more than 50 points when she was dropped from maiden special weight to maiden claiming last month at Belmont Park.

Her chief rival in a field of eight is Lads Starlit. She came from off the pace to win her debut at Mountaineer by 3 1/4 lengths, but has not run in more than two months since then. Only two others in the field have won a race.