08/23/2006 11:00PM

Spa Stakes Play for Thursday

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Three weeks ago, trainers of top-class 3-year-old filly sprinters had their choice of running in the ungraded $72k Capote Belle Stakes at six furlongs Aug. 4 or the G1 $250k Test Stakes Aug. 5. Today's G3 Victory Ride Stakes drew a field of eight including the 1-2 finishers from the Capote Belle and the 3-4-6 finishers from the Test.

Cherokee Jewel and Khalila earned Beyers of 95 and 90 running 1-2 in the Capote Belle while the three Test runners got lower figs of 86 (Original Spin), 82 (Misty Rosette) and 74 (Any Limit). Nevertheless, I am going to play against the Capote Belle runners and focus on the Test entrants. Cherokee Jewel and Khalila are closers who benefited from a fast pace in the Capote Belle, whereas the Test trio all were hurt setting or chasing the fast pace in that race. Also, the Test runners all will benefit by turning back from seven to six furlongs.

My key horse will be Original Spin. She's 8-1 on the morning line and few of the public selectors even mention her in their analyses, but to me the race runs through her off the tremendous pace she set in the Test. Maybe people are throwing her out because she earned a career-best Beyer of only 86 in the race and this field has five others who have Beyered in the 90's. But if you project a six-furlong figure for the Test - where she was in front after setting scorching fractions of 22.02, 44.67 and 1:10.03 before understandably tiring through a glacial final furlong run in over 14 seconds -- Original Spin would get a Beyer closer to 106 than 86.

So I'll bet straight on Original Spin at anything like 8-1. In the exotics, I'll take her back and forth in exactas with the two other Test runners plus G City Gal (two straight impossible trips) and Wildcat Bettie B (might simply be best horse in race), and also play some late pick-3's as follows for each $100 invested:

R8, $5 exacta box 6/1345= $40

R7, $1 pick-three 1,3,4,6/6/1,6,7,8,9= $20

R7, $1 pick-three 1,4/1,3,4,5/1,6,7,8,9= $40