09/04/2006 11:00PM

Saratoga, Del Mar final impressions

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Flower Alley, with groom Martin Estrada, takes a bath at Saratoga, as did those who backed him in the Woodward. He has the look of a horse who could use a break.

As Eastern racing shifts from Saratoga to Belmont Park and Western racing from Del Mar to Fairplex Park, here are some horses who made positive impressions during the final week of the Saratoga and Del Mar meets, plus a few horses whose weak performances suggest they may need long vacations.

New York

Her Royal Nibs - New York-bred 3-year-old filly was an impressive allowance winner at Saratoga on Sept. 1, confirming her strong preference for six furlongs. Looms a probable statebred stakes winner at Belmont this fall for trainer Dale Romans.

Tiz Wonderful - Juvenile son of double BC Classic winner Tiznow graduated by more than a dozen lengths in his career debut at the Spa on Sept. 2 going 6 1/2 furlongs. Finished final sixteenth in 6.36 seconds under a hand ride by Garrett Gomez and is likely to handle longer distances and stakes-quality rivals this year for Scott Blasi.

Successful Ways - A maiden juvenile by Pacific Classic winner Came Home out of a good Storm Cat mare, he was slow to begin and had traffic problems while launching his rally when second in a 5 1/2-furlong debut at Saratoga for Stanley Hough on Aug. 30. Should appreciate Belmont's softer turns, and also seems likely to improve in longer one-turn races. Blinkers might be a positive move to assure a clean break.

Amansara - Sparingly raced 3-year-old daughter of BC Mile winner War Chant was training steadily for six weeks at Saratoga before she was an unlucky second in a restricted 1 1/16-mile turf stakes on Aug. 31. Finished strongly to just miss winning a head bob with stretch-running Maribel after jockey Eibar Coa lost his whip in deep stretch. Has won 2 of 4 starts, all on the turf, and will be the one to beat when trainer George Weaver puts her in a similar stakes or a second-level allowance.

Karen's Caper - Bobby Frankel-trained stretch-runner was off form for most of the summer, but showed more tactical speed and a legit late punch when second to front-running My Typhoon in the Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup on turf on the Travers Day card, Aug. 26. Was a strong second in the 2005 QEII Stakes at Keeneland and now is back at that form, if not better. Needs a favorable scenario to win a graded turf stakes.

Bella Attrice - New York-bred 3-year-old maiden filly has been favored in two of her four outings, all on turf, and was wearing front leg bandages in both her Saratoga starts, when she failed to produce anything close to her best. A bet-against in maiden New York-bred company on the grass.

Flower Alley - Was slow to get his 2006 campaign underway and was a disappointment in the Whitney and Woodward at Saratoga after his good winning return in the Salvator Mile at Monmouth. Definitely not the same horse who won the 2005 Travers and finished second to Saint Liam in the Breeders' Cup Classic last year. Another bet-against, who probably should get the rest of the year off.

Del Mar

Windy - Frankel-trained Cal-bred 3-year-old filly improved noticeably in her three outings at Del Mar to win an open entry-level allowance on Sept. 2. Moved from back in the pack while widest to engage the leader coming out of the final turn. Powered home from there in convincing fashion. Seems headed for a Cal-bred sprint stakes at Santa Anita after the Fairplex meet.

Getback Time - Was a sharp second in the $100,000 Torrey Pines stakes at one mile on the main track Sept. 1. Has run well in her last six outings, including five sprints. Would seem a natural prospect for a three-turn stakes for Cal-bred 3-year-old fillies at Fairplex.

Not So Honourable - Three-year-old filly trained by low-profile Washington-based Grant Foster ran a very strong race in career debut from the inside post on Aug. 30. Figures to be tough to handle in a maiden special weight sprint on the main track or the turf at Santa Anita.

Brother Derek - Was severely overbet at 2-5 odds in the one-mile El Cajon Stakes on Sept. 2 while making his first start since enduring rough trips in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Was off a step slowly, raced wide on both turns, and weakened steadily through the lane in race dominated by the lightly raced, unbeaten absentee Cindago and by Wood Memorial winner Bob and John, who finished a sharp second. Although Brother Derek might be entered back at Santa Anita, there is ample reason to believe he may need the rest of the year off for a completely fresh start as a 4-year-old. A bet-against.