09/26/2006 11:00PM

Speed may set table for Magic Mecke


MIAMI - A field loaded with speed and a return to the allowance ranks should set Magic Mecke up for another winning effort in Friday's $40,000 main event at Calder.

Magic Mecke, a stretch-running son of Mecke, will return to action for the first time since finishing an unlucky fifth as the 3-1 favorite in The Vid Stakes on July 30. Magic Mecke's best chances were compromised by a poor start in The Vid, and he did well to pass more than half the field after trailing for the opening half-mile. In his previous start, Magic Mecke returned from an eight-month layoff to capture the race named for his sire, the 1 1/8-mile Mecke Handicap, rallying from last to a 2 1/4-length decision over Keep Cool.

Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr. for owner-breeder Trilogy Stables, Magic Mecke has worked steadily for his return with a pair of 1:44-and-change mile drills earlier this month. Friday's outing will mark the first time Magic Mecke has faced allowance competition since he cleared his second-level condition in October 2003.

The presence of Keep Cool, Nacascolo, Knight in Flight, and Layton should ensure an honest pace in Friday's 7 1/2-furlong feature attraction.

Keep Cool is winless in eight starts this season but finished second in the Mecke as well as the Band Is Passing and Blazing Sword stakes, and he is rarely outrun to the lead on the turf. Trainer Carl Anderson will remove the blinkers from Keep Cool, a 6-year-old Frosty the Snowman gelding, following a sixth-place finish over the main track in the Carterista Handicap on Sept. 4.

Nacascolo contested the pace en route to a game 1 1/2-length decision over Knight in Flight in The Vid, but like Keep Cool he tired badly after showing only brief speed in the Carterista.

Knight in Flight is another who should relish moving back to the turf. He tired badly to finish a well-beaten fourth after making an easy lead in the 1 1/4-mile Oliver Stakes on Sept. 18. Knight in Flight overcame trouble to be second in The Vid and is capable of rating and rallying from off the pace, as he did defeating allowance company early in the session.

Layton returns on just five days' rest off a two-length allowance win over the main track, and figures to be up front from the outset.