10/13/2004 12:00AM

Second in the Alcibiades, Sharp Lisa looks to outdo herself again


The connections of Sharp Lisa got more than just a quick return on their investment when she finished second in last Friday's $400,000 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland. They got themselves a bonafide contender for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Sharp Lisa was beaten a short head by Runway Model in the Grade 2 Alcibiades, about two weeks after she was purchased privately by owners J. Paul Reddam, Pablo Suarez, and Mark Schlesinger and turned over to trainer Doug O'Neill. The purchase came a few weeks after Sharp Lisa won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race at Calder for owner-trainer Steven Dwoskin.

O'Neill, who credited his brother, Dennis, for picking out Sharp Lisa, said he was impressed with how much ground Sharp Lisa made up winning her debut.

"The way she won first time out was rare for a first-time starter," O'Neill said. "She was eight lengths back at the three-eighths pole, went inside, outside, went around them, and just drew off. We were hoping that race wasn't a fluke."

Still, making the jump from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles was a built-in excuse for defeat in the Alcibiades.

"Prior to the race we told Corey [Nakatani] we wanted to see her running on late and hit the board, something to spring us forward to [confirm] what we just paid makes sense," O'Neill said.

With Nakatani committed to ride Oak Leaf winner Sweet Catomine in the Breeders' Cup, Frankie Dettori has picked up the mount on Sharp Lisa. According to O'Neill, Reddam is very friendly with Dettori, who is 3 for 30 in the Breeders' Cup.

Sharp Lisa is one of five runners from the Alcibiades expected to be pre-entered Monday for the $1 million Juvenile Fillies. Runway Model, In the Gold, Dance Away Coyote, and Sense of Style - all separated by 2 1/4 lengths in the Alcibiades - will also be pre-entered. Others likely to be pre-entered are Sweet Catomine, Balletto, Ready's Gal, Culinary, and Enduring Will.

Based on Beyer Speed Figures, the Juvenile Fillies should becompetitive. Five of the leading contenders earned a Beyer of 89 in their last start: Sweet Catomine; Balletto, who won the Frizette; and Runway Model, Sharp Lisa, and In the Gold, who were a head and a nose apart in the Alcibiades.

Sense of Style, the Spinaway and Matron winner, had a tough trip when finishing fifth as the 3-5 favorite in the Alcibiades. She was stuck inside for most of the trip and didn't find room until it was too late.

"I was looking for experience, and she got it," said trainer Patrick Biancone. "It's all the time disappointing when you're beaten. She followed them all the way, and there was no room to come out. It turned out to be just like a public gallop."

Biancone will ship Sense of Style to Texas on Monday and plans to breeze her at Lone Star the Saturday before the race.

On Wednesday, Sweet Catomine worked four furlongs in 48 seconds at Santa Anita.

Juvenile Fillies Contenders
2-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles. Purse: $1 million.

1Sweet CatomineJ. Canani5-2
Her Oak Leaf was impressive, and she hasn't shown her best yet
2BallettoT. Albertrani6-1
Her affinity for distance showed in the late stages of her Frizette
3CulinaryM. Stidham10-1
Flattered by the Alcibiades result; she beat Runway Model in Chicago
4Sense of StyleP. Biancone4-1
Yes, she had trouble at Kee, but we may have already seen her best
5Runway ModelB. Flint12-1
Horses aren't supposed to win at Keeneland with the style she uses
6Ready's GalT. Pletcher12-1
Was a very good second in the Frizette; has every right to improve
7Sharp LisaD. O'Neill15-1
Sharp second in the Alcibiades; she's eligible to improve tons, too
8In the GoldN. Zito15-1
Was beaten only a head and a nose in the Alcibiades; not out of this
9Dance Away CapoteH. G. Motion20-1
Took a big step forward when fourth in Alcibiades; this is a deep group
10Enduring WillA. Stall Jr.30-1
Galloped in a stakes at Lone Star, but over softies, and in the slop

- The top 10 contenders for each of the eight Breeders' Cup races are ranked by Mike Watchmaker, who set the odds and wrote the comments. Actual Breeders' Cup fields will have up to 14 starters.