09/09/2008 11:00PM

Seven-furlong allowance draws a crowd on turf

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Since 5 1/2 furlongs was the only available distance for turf sprinters at Saratoga, it's no wonder they're coming out of the woodwork for Wednesday's seventh race.

The $59,000 third-level allowance is scheduled for seven furlongs on the Widener course and drew a baker's dozen. Bettors chasing a pick-six carryover of $63,136 have their hands full. The majority of the field merely chilled out in the barn during the dog days of summer, including Christophe Clement's entry of Quietly Mine and Perfect Casting, both away since June; Bobby Frankel's entry of Trimaran and Joe Bravo, a Brazilian import who last ran in February; and Kiaran McLaughlin's coupling of Makaan and Museeb, who would be making his second start in 11 months should anyone scratch from the main body.

Rallying Cry may stand to benefit the most from the added distance, after lunging at the break and finding himself well off a sizzling pace in an overnight stakes dash on getaway day at the Spa.

Rallying Cry's two losses at seven furlongs in Europe came in graded stakes when he was a 2-year-old. In six starts since coming to the United States this year, he has put up Beyer Speed Figures of 90 or better on Polytrack, turf, fast tracks, and sealed mud.

"He's a pretty solid and consistent horse - he goes on dirt, turf, or Poly," said Rick Mettee, who oversees Godolphin Stable's New York string for Saeed bin Suroor. "Seven furlongs should be a good trip. He's been knocking heads with some good horses, so this is a good spot."

Rallying Cry's only start on turf at Belmont came on the inner course in July, when he was beaten less than a length by Buffalo Man, winner of the recent Grade 3 Red Bank at Monmouth.

Other contenders include Prince Rahy, a consistent veteran who had been in the money for 10 straight starts before a troubled trip in the Grade 2 Fourstardave, and Out of Gwedda, who hasn't been on turf since forcing the pace and finishing just behind Quietly Mine and Perfect Casting in an overnight stakes here last September.

Out of Gwedda was third to subsequent King's Bishop upsetter Visionaire in the slop on Day 2 at the Spa and won the Tremont here at 2, so he would move up considerably in the event of a surface switch.

"He likes Belmont," trainer Bill Badgett Jr. said. "We wouldn't mind if it comes off."