03/08/2007 1:00AM

Silver Knockers has rail to overcome


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A week ago, trainer Nick Zito watched in horror as his favored Forefathers broke poorly from post 1, effectively losing all chance in the Hutcheson Stakes.

By the luck of the draw, Zito finds himself in a potentially similar situation on Saturday with Silver Knockers, who also pulled the dreaded inside post in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies entered to go seven furlongs in the $150,000 Forward Gal Stakes.

Silver Knockers, a daughter of Silver Deputy, is undefeated and virtually untested in two career starts that include an easy four-length victory going seven furlongs here on Feb. 8.

"She has the potential to be a special horse, but drawing the rail puts us in a tough position," said Zito, who trains Silver Knockers for the Elk Manor Farm. "It makes you think about maybe scratching, but the owner wants to run, and I want to run, and there's really nothing else for her right now. She doesn't have to be in front to win, and if she does break slow from the rail I think she could be good enough to take back and still win the race. It's just unfortunate because it puts us at an extra disadvantage you'd rather not have to worry about."

Joe Bravo, who was aboard Silver Knockers for each of her two wins, will have the mount again in the Grade 2 Forward Gal.

The Forward Gal also will see the return of Boca Grande, an A.P. Indy filly, who closed out her 2-year-old campaign with a pair of easy victories, including a 3 3/4-length decision going 1 1/8 miles in Aqueduct's Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes.

Trainer Shug McGaughey had hoped to get Boca Grande back to the races earlier this winter but said he could not quite get a line on his filly off her first several works. As a result, he passed his original goal, the one-mile Davona Dale Stakes on Feb. 10.

"She's done fine this winter, but I just couldn't get a bead on her," said McGaughey, who will bring regular rider Mike Smith down from New York for the Forward Gal. "This will get her started, and then we'll decide where to go from there."

Silver Knockers isn't the only undefeated filly in the field. She shares that distinction with Forever Together. She is also perfect in two starts, and comes into her graded stakes debut off a 2 1/2-length victory in the restricted Ocala Breeders' Sale Sprint on Feb. 12.