08/27/2009 11:00PM

Sara Louise finally ready to run

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Barbara D. Livingston
Sara Louise trains under Bob Chapman at Saratoga on Thursday for the Victory Ride.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Rachel Alexandra won't be participating on Saturday's card at Saratoga, but the last horse to beat her will be.

Sara Louise, who defeated Rachel Alexandra in the Grade 3 Pocahontas Stakes last Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs, makes her 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Victory Ride Stakes at Saratoga. Sara Louise will also be making her first start for Godolphin Racing, which purchased Sara Louise following her second-place finish to Rachel Alexandra in the Grade 2 Golden Rod last Nov. 29.

Sara Louise spent part of the winter in Dubai, but didn't do that well and never made it out of light training, according to Godolphin assistant Rick Mettee. Sara Louise began coming to hand toward the end of the Belmont meet, according to Mettee, and her most recent work, a five-furlong move in 59.80 seconds, showed she is ready to go.

"The other day she finished good, galloped out good,'' Mettee said. "Six [furlongs] may be a little on the short side for her, but that should be a good race for her.''

Sara Louis will break from the outside post in the nine-horse field and should have pace to run into under Edgar Prado.

Trainer Kelly Breen should supply some of that pace with Bold Union, who is part of two-horse entry along with All of Her Twist. Bold Union showed considerable speed going gate to wire in the Femme Fatale Stakes on July 31 at Penn National, where she ran six furlongs in 1:08.65. Seven weeks earlier, Bold Union had finished sixth of nine in the Jostle Stakes at Philadelphia Park.

"After the race at Philadelphia Park she got sick," Breen said. "She came back and ran a fever. She got over that and she came back with a great effort. We know we have a stakes-caliber filly. The next step is to win a graded stakes.''

If Bold Union can't take them wire to wire, then Breen hopes All of Her Twist can pick up the pieces. Bold Union won an allowance race and the Dearly Precious Stakes at Monmouth Park - both at six furlongs - before finishing sixth, beaten four lengths in the Grade 1 Test here going seven furlongs on Aug. 8.

"Her race in the Test wasn't a bad one," Breen said. "To get beat four lengths against some of the best horses in the country, I'll take it."

Selva, who won her career debut here last year in the slop, returns to Saratoga for the Victory Ride. She finished fourth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths in the Grade 1 Prioress at Belmont last out. Step Out Smartly, Juliet's Spirit, Trix in the City, Sky Haven, and Reforestation complete the field.

Golden Mexico, beaten a head by Strike Again in the Tap the Admiral Stakes here on Aug. 3, may simply need a smoother trip to turn the tables on that rival in the $80,000 Lure Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile.

Golden Mexico was boxed in along the rail in midstretch of the Tap the Admiral before getting out in deep stretch and falling a head short to Strike Again.

Trained by Bill Mott, Strike Again has won his last two. He has to deal with post 9 and high weight of 122 pounds.

Jack Spratt finished third in the Tap the Admiral and may have more pace to set up his late run in here than he did in that race. Florentino, who won the Jefferson Cup in June, should appreciate turning back to one mile after finishing last in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby at Colonial on July 18.