11/26/2009 12:00AM

Sara Louise back on dirt in Top Flight


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Sara Louise was one of the many New York-based dirt horses that toiled unsuccessfully over Santa Anita's synthetic surface in the Breeders' Cup, finishing a nonthreatening fourth in the Filly and Mare Sprint.

"We didn't expect to win the race, those two fillies are tough," said Godolphin assistant trainer Rick Mettee, referring to Filly and Mare Sprint one-two finishers Informed Decision and Ventura. "But we thought we'd be a little more competitive than we were. She was kind of a nondescript fourth. She trained like a filly that would really go over the synthetic. You just can't tell."

Looking at her form, which includes a victory over Rachel Alexandra as a 2-year-old, one can tell Sara Louise really goes well over dirt, a surface she gets in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct. The Top Flight heads a 10-race Black Friday card that gets under way at noon Eastern.

On dirt, Sara Louise has 3 wins and 2 seconds from 6 starts. That includes a two-length victory in the Grade 3 Victory Ride at Saratoga, a race run over a sloppy track. The track could be wet Friday if the weather forecast proves correct. Following the Victory Ride, Sara Louise was beaten a head by two-time Eclipse Award winner Indian Blessing in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont.

The Top Flight is run as a one-turn mile race. The last time Sara Louise ran such a race, she beat Rachel Alexandra by 3 3/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Pocahontas last year at Churchill Downs.

"We really think a one-turn mile should be the best trip for her," Mettee said.

Sara Louise, who breaks from post 8 under Edgar Prado, will be coupled with Skylighter.

The Top Flight marks the return to the races of Justwhistledixie, who has not run since finishing second in the Grade 1 Acorn on June 6. Justwhistledixie, now trained by Bill Mott, won the Grade 2 Davona Dale, a one-turn mile race at Gulfstream, as part of a five-race win streak that included an overnight stakes over Aqueduct's main track last Nov. 28. She breaks from post 9 under Jose Lezcano.

Spritely has finished worse than third only once in 15 career starts, including a solid victory in the Quick Mischief Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 1. Porte Bonheur returns to dirt after three tries on synthetic surfaces. This will be her first start at one mile. Cuvee Uncorked, a Delaware-based 3-year-old filly, won the Poker Night here going seven furlongs on Nov. 1.