09/04/2011 6:27PM

Saratoga: Brilliant Speed relishes return to turf in Saranac

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Tom Keyser
Brilliant Speed, ridden by John Velazquez, snaps a three-race losing streak by returning to turf for the Saranac Stakes.

 SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - After watching Brilliant Speed put in a lackluster performance in the Jim Dandy on dirt, trainer Tom Albertrani decided it was time to return the 3-year-old back to the turf.

 The move worked out, pardon the pun, brilliantly, as Brilliant Speed demonstrated a strong stretch kick to win the Grade 3, $103,000 Saranac Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths Sunday at Saratoga. Queen’splatekitten finished second, one-half length over King Congie.

 The win was the first for Brilliant Speed since he won the Blue Grass Stakes over Keeneland’s Polytrack in April. Since then, he ran seventh in the Kentucky Derby, third in the Preakness, and fifth in the Jim Dandy - all races on dirt.

 Back on turf in the Saranac, Brilliant Speed, under John Velazquez, raced in fifth position, about 3 1/2 lengths off the pace which was established by Queen’splatekitten and pressed by Chinglish.

 Velazquez put Brilliant Speed three wide around the far turn and when Live in Joy blew the turn turning into the stretch, Velazquez put Brilliant Speed into that spot. Leaving the quarter, Velazquez asked Brilliant Speed to run and eventually overtook Queen’splatekitten inside the eighth pole.

 Brilliant Speed, a son of Dynaformer owned and bred by Live Oak Plantation, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.73 and returned $6.50 to win.

 “The difference was when he came off the turn he had a good kick,’’ Albertrani said. “In the Jim Dandy, he flattened out early. When I saw [how he] came out of the race, he didn’t run his race. Today he showed that kick. … I think he probably prefers to be on a firmer surface.’’

 Albertrani said Brilliant Speed will remain on the turf and be pointed to the Grade 1 Jamaica at Belmont Park on Oct. 7.

Arena Elvira wins Sightseek

 Odds-on favorite Arena Elvira, under Jose Lezcano, rallied three wide leaving the five-sixteenths pole, took command in upper stretch and easily held Satans Quick Chick at bay to win the $75,000 Sightseek Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths.

 Satans Quick Chick finished second by two lengths over Lacie Slew. Connie and Michael and All About Alex completed the order of finish.

 It was the second overnight stakes victory for Arena Elvira, a 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper who earlier in the meet won the Madam Jumel by 1 1/4 lengths.

 Arena Elvira, owned by Carolyn Wilson and trained by Bill Mott, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.41 and returned $3.