08/16/2004 11:00PM

Society Selection gets nod

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Society Selection wins the Test. Saturday's Alabama probably is next.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A day after he worked Society Selection a mile on Monday, trainer Allen Jerkens said he "would probably" run the filly in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Alabama rather than the Grade 1, $250,000 Ballerina against older fillies and mares on Aug. 29.

The Alabama, which is for 3-year-old fillies, will be run at 1 1/4 miles. The Ballerina is run at seven furlongs, the same distance as the Grade 1 Test, which Society Selection won earlier in the meet.

Society Selection is without a win in three starts in two-turn races.

"The [Alabama] purse is bigger, and who knows if she can run by the older fillies like she did the younger ones," Jerkens said Tuesday. "Naturally, you want to try to be tops in your division. The only thing is if you make a horse go farther than they want, it's not always such a good idea. The only race that was hard to explain was her loss in the Mother Goose."

Society Selection finished sixth in the Mother Goose at Belmont on June 26.

Jerkens said Cornelio Velasquez will ride Society Selection. Jerkens is also planning on running Honor Point, a half-sister to Puzzlement, the winner of last year's Saratoga Breeders' Cup. Honor Point, who will not be coupled in the wagering with Society Selection, is coming off a well-beaten fourth in the Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park last month.

Jorge Chavez will ride Honor Point.

Ashado will be the Alabama favorite in what is shaping up to be a large field. In addition to Jerkens's fillies, the other expected starters are A Lulu ofa Menifee, A Song in a Minor, Fleet Indian, Last Song, Stellar Jayne, Susan's Angel, and Yearly Report.

On Tuesday, A Lulu ofa Menifee worked five furlongs in 1:01.16 over the sloppy main track. Last Song covered the same distance in 1:01.54, with jockey Javier Castellano aboard.

Last Song defeated Society Selection earlier this year at Gulfstream Park in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss. Last Song finished behind Ashado in two races this year, the Kentucky Oaks and Ashland.

Carl Nafzger, who trains Last Song, said it would be difficult to beat Ashado in the Alabama. Nafzger won the 1998 Alabama with Banshee Breeze and was second in 1991 with Til Forbid.

"I don't know how they will beat [Ashado]," Nafzger said. "Ashado has never done anything wrong. [Her record] looks like Banshee Breeze's."

Bowman's Band likely to sit out

Jerkens said it doesn't look like he will run Bowman's Band in Sunday's Grade 2, $250,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap. Jerkens said he would probably wait until the Grade 1, $500,000 Woodward on Sept. 11 at Belmont for Bowman's Band's next start. Bowman's Band was third in the Grade 1 Whitney on Aug. 7.

"I'll keep Sunday's race here in mind, but I will probably run him [at Belmont]," Jerkens said.

Funny Cide was assigned 118 pounds as the highweight for the 1 1/4-mile Saratoga Breeders' Cup. Expected to join Funny Cide, who will be making his first start at Saratoga, are Eye of the Tiger, Alumni Hall, Evening Attire, Sarava, and Congrats. A few others are possible.

Hopes high for Miss Matched

Miss Matched will make her first start for trainer John Ward and owner John Oxley when she runs in Friday's Grade 2, $250,000 Spinaway.

Oxley privately purchased Miss Matched after she won her career debut by 12 1/2 lengths at Monmouth Park on July 15 for trainer Bill Perry, who co-owned the 2-year-old filly with John Gallo.

Miss Matched, a daughter of Formal Gold, completed the five furlongs in 57.90 seconds and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 78. She ran her final furlong in 12.40 seconds

Ward said he liked everything about Miss Matched's first race.

"It was very impressive," Ward said. "She had early speed and had a good finish. The handicapping sheet numbers were very impressive. She was obviously a nice filly and we wanted her in our barn."

Ward said he is viewing the seven-furlong Spinaway as a race "to build on," and that he believes Miss Matched will become a good two-turn horse. Ward said he would like to run Miss Matched in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park.

"She has a very smooth and long stride, a couple of gears, and a great mind," Ward said.

Robby Albarado will ride Miss Matched in the Spinaway. Others pointing to the race are Classic Elegance, Sense of Style, Broadway Gold, Play With Fire, Portsea, and Punch Appeal.

Spotlight capable in Lake Placid

If trainer Christophe Clement ran Seducer's Song in Monday's Lake Placid, he would have the horse to beat. Instead, Clement will send Seducer's Song to California for Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Oaks.

But Clement believes he has a very capable runner for the Grade 2 Lake Placid in Spotlight.

On July 23, Spotlight won her first start in this country, winning a second-level allowance race at Belmont by two lengths over a soft turf course. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 91 in the 1 1/8-mile race, the distance of the Lake Placid. Clement said he feels confident Spotlight can handle the step up in company from allowance runners to stakes horses. "There is no problem with that; she is a nice filly," Clement said.