07/31/2009 11:00PM

Seventh Street never says die

Barbara D. Livingston
Seventh Street, part of a Godolphin-owned entry, owes her name to both her sire, Street Cry, and a numeral-like discoloration.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It says something about a horse when a jockey is more impressed with the races the horse has lost than the ones she has won.

But that is the case for jockey Rajiv Maragh when it comes to Seventh Street, who seeks to return to the winner's circle in Sunday's Grade 1, $300,000 Go for Wand Handicap at Saratoga. Seventh Street and Cocoa Beach make up what is likely to be a heavily favored Godolphin Stable entry in the Go for Wand, which is expected to scratch down from its original seven entrants.

The Go for Wand highlights a 10-race Sunday card that also includes the Grade 2 Fourstardave scheduled for the turf, and the listed Curlin Stakes for 3-year-olds on the dirt.

Maragh has 3 wins and 2 seconds aboard Seventh Street, who has 4 wins and 2 seconds overall from 7 starts. While naturally pleased with Seventh Street's two allowance wins and the Grade 1 Apple Blossom score, Maragh feels the "two best races" the filly has run for him came in defeat in the Barbara Fritchie at Laurel and the Ogden Phipps at Belmont.

In the Barbara Fritchie, Seventh Street reared at the start and trailed the field by several lengths. She came with a huge run to be second, just 1 3/4 lengths behind Royale Michele.

"The day in Laurel, that was the biggest effort a horse ever gave to me," Maragh said. "She ran an amazing race that day. That was probably better than winning some races."

In the Phipps, Seventh Street was in hand while dueling with longshot My Dinah. Maragh was confident that he had that filly any time he wanted. But leaving the half-mile pole, Sea Chanter and Music Note - stablemates of Seventh Street - came up to apply pressure from the outside, forcing Maragh to move earlier than he wanted on Seventh Street. Seattle Smooth passed Seventh Street in the stretch.

"She ran a winning race that day," Maragh said. "She's never run a bad race, she's so consistent and she gives you 110 percent every time."

In between the Fritchie and the Phipps, Seventh Street won the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn by 5 3/4 lengths. It was her first start at 1 1/16 miles and first around two turns. The Go for Wand is at 1 1/8 miles around two turns.

"A mile and an eighth, I'm not concerned at all, because she ran a mile and a sixteenth over a track she never run on at Oaklawn, and she pulled away at the end against good fillies, so I don't see it as a problem going a sixteenth of a mile more,'' Maragh said.

Seventh Street is likely to show speed from the rail in the Go for Wand, and may have to deal with some pace pressure from Spritely or Weathered.

A pace battle would benefit Miss Isella, who will attempt to transfer her Churchill Downs form - 5 of her 6 wins have come there - to Saratoga. Ian Wilkes, the trainer of Miss Isella, doesn't see a horse-for-course - he sees an improving filly.

"I love her consistency now," Wilkes said.

Color Me Up, Weathered, and Luna Vega complete the field.