08/11/2006 11:00PM

Several in Troy switching surfaces

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Adam Coglianese / NYRA
After setting a record on Belmont's inner turf (above), Weigelia ran third in Calder's Smile on dirt.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Handicappers may want to put a different spin on the popular turf-to-dirt angle when trying to select the winner of Monday's $70,000 Troy Stakes at Saratoga.

The Troy, run at 5 1/2 furlongs on the inner turf course, shares billing with the $70,000 Noble Nashua for New York-breds on the dirt at nine furlongs.

Weigelia, Safsoof, and Yes Yes Yes are the primary players in the Troy, which drew a field of six for the turf and one main-track-only entrant. All three horses are coming off solid efforts in dirt races, with Weigelia running third in the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder, Safsoof winning a third-level allowance race at Monmouth, and Yes Yes Yes missing by a head in a dirt allowance at Churchill.

Two starts back, , trained by Mike Trombetta, won a conditioned allowance race by three-quarters of a length while running six furlongs in 1:07.04, a Belmont inner-turf-course record. The runner-up from that race, Terrific Challenge, came back to set a Monmouth course record in the John McSorley Stakes and won Saturday's $60,000 Sneakbox Stakes at Monmouth.

Following the allowance, Weigelia shipped to Calder and finished third in the Smile after stumbling at the break and pressing the pace.

"That racetrack that day wasn't typical Calder, it was favoring way-back closers, but all things considered he ran well," Trombetta said. "He's run his best at Calder; after that it's splitting hairs whether he's better on turf or dirt."

John Velazquez, aboard for Weigelia's win at Belmont, is back aboard on Monday.

returns to the turf coming off allowance wins on dirt at Belmont and Monmouth. Safsoof did win a minor turf sprint stakes at Newbury in England last fall. Rick Mettee, who oversees Godolphin Racing's New York operation, says this race will determine Safsoof's future.

"He seems to have improved," Mettee said. "I don't know if it's because he's run exclusively on dirt now or because he's gotten better. He's done well, and I expected a good run from him."

comes off a head loss to the stakes winner Greeley's Galaxy at Churchill last out. In two turf sprint tries, he's been beaten a total of two necks.

Naughty New Yorker, winless in six starts since taking last year's Albany Handicap here, heads a field of 10 entered in the $70,000 Noble Nashua for New York-breds. The Noble Nashua is run at 1 1/8 miles over the main track, the same conditions as the Albany.