08/17/2004 11:00PM

Sense of Style rises

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Sense of Style wins her maiden Aug. 1 with a 91 Beyer. On Friday, she jumps directly into the Grade 2 Spinaway.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The jump from the maiden ranks to graded stakes company can be daunting, and one that trainers are often leery to make. In the case of the juvenile filly Sense of Style, trainer Patrick Biancone is relishing the chance to run her in Friday's Grade 2, $250,000 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga.

, a daughter of Thunder Gulch, was a most impressive debut winner on Aug. 1, winning a 6 1/2-furlong race by 2 1/2 lengths. She made a couple of different moves in the race before spurting away late. She ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.47 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

"It's always a question first time you run against winners,'' said Biancone, who trains Sense of Style for owners Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor "But this time they have to run against me. She's a very nice filly, very talented. We'll see what she can do. There's no pressure because it's not a Grade 1."

The Spinaway, run at seven furlongs, was downgraded to a Grade 2 this year. The Spinaway has also been moved up in the schedule by two weeks, with the New York Racing Association choosing to eliminate the Adirondack.

Sense of Style was purchased as a yearling for $375,000 then pinhooked for $800,000 at the Keeneland September sales last year. In her debut race, Sense of Style broke sharply, settled into fifth early, and raced between horses while advancing into contention entering the far turn. She rallied three wide into the stretch and then ran away from Summer Raven, a highly regarded filly trained by Todd Pletcher.

"She got a good education the other day," Biancone said. "Edgar rode her beautifully. He got to sit and see what was going on."

Sense of Style will break from post 4 on Friday.

Sense of Style is one of three debut winners stepping up to the Spinaway. Miss Matched, a daughter of Formal Gold, was a 12 1/2-length winner at Monmouth Park in her debut. She has since been purchased privately by owner John Oxley and turned over to John Ward, and makes her first start for those connections.

rallied from 12 lengths back to win a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race by 2 1/4 lengths here on July 29. The third-place finisher from that race, Comacina, came back to win. Pablo Fragoso rides for trainer Mark Hennig.

is the most accomplished filly in the field, having gone 3 for 4, including wins in the Grade 3 Debutante at Churchill Downs and Grade 2 Schuylerville here. She finished with a flourish to win the Schuylerville over a muddy track her trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, didn't think she handled. Pat Day has the call. She also had to overcome the rail, which is the same post draw she gets for the Spinaway. Lukas is seeking his seventh Spinaway victory.

also has won three of four starts including a pair of stakes at Calder. In her last start, she defeated Yes It's Gold, a filly owned by Heiligbrodt Stable. So, William Heiligbrodt purchased Punch Appeal and turned her over to Steve Asmussen, who has worked her twice in three weeks.

"I've been in no position to find out how fast she is with all that's been piled on her," said Asmussen, who has named Cornelio Velasquez to ride. "Looking at the race at Calder gave us confidence to try the Spinaway."

Broadway Gold was sent off the favorite in the Schuylerville after winning her maiden by 11 lengths and the Astoria Stakes by three lengths. Broadway Gold got stuck on the inside and finished fifth in the Schuylerville. She breaks from the outside post under Jerry Bailey in the Spinaway.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has won two of the last five Spinaways, sends out Portsea, who won her maiden by seven at Monmouth Park on July 29 in her second start.