10/19/2005 11:00PM

Seeking the Ante gets relief

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Seeking the Ante, winning the Grade 2 Nassau County Handicap in May, runs in Saturday's Iroquois.

ELMONT, N.Y. - If you put a line through the four Grade 1 races Seeking the Ante has run in this year, her record is quite impressive. Since Saturday's $125,000 Iroquois Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares at seven furlongs is not a Grade 1, Seeking the Ante looks very formidable.

, a half-sister to 2004 Florida Derby winner Friends Lake, is already a graded stakes winner going seven furlongs at Belmont Park, having won the Grade 2 Nassau County Handicap here in May. Two starts back, Seeking the Ante won a second-level allowance race going seven furlongs at Saratoga.

In between those two victories, Seeking the Ante ran in three Grade 1 events at distances ranging from one mile to 1 1/4 miles. And in her most recent start, Seeking the Ante finished fourth in the Grade 1 Gazelle.

Trainer John Kimmel has given Seeking the Ante six weeks between races and said he believes that, plus the return to statebred competition, should be a recipe for success.

"She should be perfect for that spot," Kimmel said. "In the Gazelle, she was close and she likes to have some more pace up in front of her. This is a better distance. She runs well fresh, and I gave her a little breather. It's a pretty good spot for a New York-bred who's bred like a Kentucky bred."

The only negative for Kimmel is that he will need a new rider. Richard Migliore, who was named to ride, suffered a broken leg during a paddock incident Thursday and will be out indefinitely.

Seeking the Ante should have ample pace in front of her in the Iroquois, since Slew Motion, Magnolia Jackson, and Ihaveadate all like to be in the game early. Ihaveadate, trained by Mike Hernandez, will be coupled with Seeking the Ante. Both are owned by Mary and Chester Broman.

With rain in the forecast, becomes a major player. She is 4 for 8 on wet tracks, and two starts back she won the Schenectady Handicap by a neck over next-out winner High Peaks. Though Travelator is winless in three starts at seven furlongs, Hough said, "She finishes better now than the last couple of years. She's shown the ability to relax a little bit."

Travelator is the 120-pound highweight and will break from post 12 under Javier Castellano.

has not been out since finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct in March. Last year, she won the Maid of the Mist Stakes here on New York Showcase Day and she is 3 for 4 at Belmont. John Velazquez has the call.