06/08/2006 12:00AM

Songster gets second chance

Songster comes into Saturday's Woody Stephens off a 10-length win in the Hirsch Jacobs at Pimlico.

ELMONT, N.Y. - When last they met, Too Much Bling crushed Songster by nine lengths in the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes over a sloppy Aqueduct track. When they meet again in Saturday's $250,000 Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup Handicap - formerly the Riva Ridge - at Belmont Park, Tom Albertrani, the trainer of Songster, believes he may be able to turn the tables.

In the Bay Shore, and appeared much more comfortable over the sloppy going than did Songster. While Too Much Bling hasn't run since the Bay Shore, Songster came back to win the Grade 3 Hirsch Jacobs at Pimlico by 10 lengths.

"I don't think he handled the track that well," Albertrani said of the Bay Shore. "He was definitely a lot sharper going into the Hirsch Jacobs Stakes at Pimlico. He was training a little better going into that race; he's training well now."

Albertrani hopes the track dries out by the time the Woody Stephens is run. Songster did benefit at the post-position draw by drawing the outside. Too Much Bling drew the rail.

"I don't like that at all," Bob Baffert, trainer of Too Much Bling, said of his colt's draw. "Now he's got to commit."

Too Much Bling is 3 for 3 this year, all in stakes. Too Much Bling won the Bay Shore coming off an eight-week layoff. He comes into this race off a nine-week layoff, but with a sharp work tab.

The Woody Stephens, run at seven furlongs, is not a two-horse race.

both have credentials to be a factor in this field. Likely, a son of 1999 Riva Ridge winner Yes It's True, won the Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland by nine lengths on April 9. He was sent off the 4-5 favorite in a second-level allowance race at Churchill, but finished second after being forced to take up at the break.

"We were thinking that to go for the [Woody Stephens] we needed to give him a bit more education," trainer Patrick Biancone said. "It was good because he got a bit of an education: he was squeezed by the two horses at the start, he finished well, and learned something."

Fabulous Strike takes a step up in class after winning all three of his starts this year, including an overnight stakes at Belmont on May 10.

"It wouldn't surprise me if he was that kind of horse," trainer Todd Beattie said. "He's been awful impressive to me. Better than I've had."

Keyed Entry is entered, but trainer Todd Pletcher said he is unlikely to run.