08/28/2013 4:59PM

Saratoga: Bella Castani spotted for a win on Friday

Barbara D. Livingston
Bella Castani won the Tweedside Stakes going a mile at Belmont Park in April.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Stretching back out to a mile and in a field where there appears to be a good amount of early speed, Bella Castani looks well spotted to return to the winner’s circle in Friday’s $100,000 Riskaverse Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf at Saratoga.

The Riskaverse shares billing with the $100,000 Law Enforcement Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds on a nine-race card that begins at 2:30 p.m., the only twilight racing card of the 40-day meet.

After being eased in a dirt race in January, Bella Castani won a maiden turf race by 4 1/4 lengths at Gulfstream before being purchased privately by Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stable and turned over to trainer Christophe Clement. In her first start for those connections, Bella Castani won the Tweedside Stakes going a mile at Belmont Park in April.

Bella Castani was very rank in her seventh-place finish in the Little Silver Stakes at Monmouth before finishing a respectable second to Effie Trinket in the Diamondrella Stakes on July 14 at seven furlongs.

“That was a little bit shorter than what she needs,” Clement said. “She’s trained well lately.”

Joe Rocco Jr. will rides Bella Castani from post 7.

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Midnight Watch will undoubtedly go to the front for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. She won a pair of races at Belmont on the front end and set the pace before fading to fourth in the Grade 2 Lake George here on July 24.

“They’re all going to be chasing us because we’re pretty fast,” McLaughlin said. “We don’t have but one gear.”

The question is whether Miss Lamour tries to run with Midnight Watch early. In her last start, Miss Lamour opened up a nine-length lead after the opening half-mile and hung on to win an allowance race by a half-length.

Joss Saville, the assistant to trainer Michael Matz, said that front-running performance caught the barn a little by surprise. Two starts back, Miss Lamour had come from off the pace to finish second at Delaware Park.

“We can do whatever with her,” Saville said. “She’ll settle, she has a good kick. She’ll go wherever he wants to put her; she’s not a difficult ride or anything. She doesn’t necessarily have to be on the lead.”

Luis Saez rides Miss Lamour from post 3.

Teen Pauline made a successful dirt debut going a mile here for trainer Todd Pletcher and the Stonestreet Stable. She could also be forwardly placed breaking from the rail.

Completing the field are Unbelievable Dream, Native Bombshell, Promise Me More, Coarsegold, and Sister Ginger.

[SARATOGA 2013: Complete meet coverage, exclusive DRF videos]

** Though Friday’s $100,000 Law Enforcement drew a field of six New York-bred juveniles, it is expected to lose a starter or two to Monday’s $100,000 Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes.

Free Mugatu, a four-length debut winner here on Aug. 9, and Sol the Freud, a front-running debut winner here on Aug. 2, look like the ones to beat.

Trainer John Terranova was quite impressed with what he saw from Free Mugatu when he rallied from 15 lengths back to win his debut here in the slop.

“It took some natural ability to do what he did,” Terranova said. “He’ll polish his game the next few starts, and I think he’s got all the tools to be a top-class New York-bred.”

David Cannizzo said he expects Sol the Freud to make the lead “and take them as far as he can.”

Irish Sweepstakes, Double Gold, Howaboutwe, and Ogermeister are also entered.