09/14/2006 12:00AM

A Sea Trippi tackles elders in U Can Do It


MIAMI - Trainer Ron Spatz won the first two runnings of the $100,000 U Can Do It Handicap in 2002 and 2003 with Chispiski. On Saturday, Spatz stands a pretty good chance of winning this filly-and-mare dash for the third time in five years when he sends out A Sea Trippi against 10 rivals in the 6 1/2-furlong event.

A Sea Trippi, one of only two 3-year-olds entered in the wide-open U Can Do It - along with Five Star Susan - will be facing older horses for the first time in her career. A daughter of Trippi, she moved to the upper echelon of her division after capturing the Harmony Lodge Stakes convincingly and finishing second as the favorite behind Frolicing in the Swept Away Stakes. She was also fourth, despite racing in the deeper going along the rail, in the Grade 3 Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes in her most recent start on July 15.

Spatz has tabbed Eduardo Nunez to replace regular rider Manoel Cruz aboard A Sea Trippi.

Cruz has opted instead to reunite with Midtown Miss, aboard whom he finished second for trainer Joe Calascibetta in the 2005 U Can Do It. Midtown Miss, who banked over $143,000 during her 3-year-old campaign last year, has made only three starts this season, all in New York where she was being trained by Dominic Galluscio.

Running Bobcats will go off as the starting highweight under 119 pounds, earning the role with come-from-behind wins in the Ema Bovary in the slop and Distaff Turf Sprint Handicap on yielding turf earlier this meet. Running Bobcats will again be ridden by Julio Garcia.

Jewels N Gems is next in the weights, carrying 118 pounds. She'll be returning to the main track for the first time since capturing a second-level allowance dash going seven furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs in mid-March. Trainer Kirk Ziadie switched the 5-year-old Jewels N Gems to the grass after that victory and was quickly rewarded with a pair of stakes wins. She was also second, beaten a half-length by Running Bobcats, in the Distaff Turf Sprint.

Red Ruffle, a stakes winner going a route of ground earlier this summer, and American Miss, another two-turn specialist, shorten up for the U Can Do It and could be coming on strong at the end.

The remainder of the field consists up of Uchita, Yes It's Gold, Special Report, and Iztla.