11/17/2005 12:00AM

Sky Valley Road goes for No. 3


Sky Valley Road, an easy winner of his first two starts, attempts to stretch out his speed to seven furlongs while returning from a two-month layoff and facing stakes company for the first time in Saturday's $50,000 Pennsylvania Nursery at Philadelphia Park.

The stakes, restricted to Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings, drew a field of 13 runners. All except Sky Valley Road and Mieszko, whose two wins came for a claiming tag, have no more than a maiden victory to their credit.

Sky Valley Road, based at Philly Park with trainer Tony Dutrow, boasts the two best Beyer Speed Figures in the field, a 73 for his 4 1/2-length maiden win and an 83 for his 2 3/4-length score over just three rivals in a first-level allowance. This will be his first start beyond six furlongs and his first race since Sept. 17.

Sky Valley Road's sire, Zamindar, was a successful juvenile in Europe, winning a Group 3 race and picking up a second and a third against Group 1 competition.

Flying Clipper, a wire-to-wire winner in his first start off the claim for trainer Mike Pino, may be the most intriguing challenger to Sky Valley Road. Flying Clipper is a half-brother to Watchman's Warning, whose earnings of $590,483 include a pair of thirds in Grade 3 stakes in New York and two runner-up finishes in the Maryland Million Turf.

Valay Night, Evening Meadow, and Escrow Account all won their maiden with Beyers that put them within striking range of the favorite.

Evening Meadow defeated straight maidens in his second career start in September, earning a 69 Beyer, then was effectively eliminated at the start of his only subsequent race. If he gets a clean break, Evening Meadow is capable of running much better.

Valay Night and Escrow Account both come out of highly rated maiden races at Penn National. Making his first start on Lasix, Valay Night survived a head-to-head duel that lasted nearly the entire six furlongs to get up by a half-length facing nine other maiden special weight runners on Nov. 2, an effort worth a 71 Beyer.

Escrow Account made his career debut against soft $12,000 maiden claimers, but thrashed them by 18 1/2 lengths to earn a 67 Beyer. His trainer, Tim Kreiser, has been in the money with 14 of 29 horses he has shipped to Philly Park this season, including six winners.