04/10/2002 11:00PM

Speed, speed, speed

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With nearly every contestant in Saturday's $75,000 Yankee Affair at Gulfstream a need-the-lead type, doping out the winner of the five-furlong grass race basically comes down to the question: Who is the speed of the speed?

The short answer is Kipperscope, a blazing-fast son of speed sire Kipper Kelly who not only is capable of clearing his seven opponents early, but also comes into the Yankee Affair in peak condition. He also has a Beyer profile that is superior to all in the field except the classy Texas Glitter, who has been on the sidelines for the past four months.

Kipperscope turns back and switches to the turf off a very sharp victory at six furlongs on the main track at Gulfstream on March 6. He has an excellent record of 4-0-1 in six starts at the Yankee Affair's distance on the grass, including consecutive victories at Calder's Tropical meet against some of the top locals. With four triple-digit Beyers in his last five races, Kipperscope figures to take heavy action as part of a Ross Wolfendale-trained entry with True Love's Secret. Leading jockey Cornelio Velasquez has been enlisted to ride.

Those backing the entry will get the lone quality closer in the field as well. True Love's Secret, though a front-end winner over Grade 1 winner With Anticipation in his most recent start, has won while sitting a trip in the past.

The veteran Texas Glitter certainly can't be discounted in this spot. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Texas Glitter has been one of the top grass sprinters in the country over the past few seasons. He is quite capable of tearing off fractions of 21 and 43 seconds and change, and if at his best, could run the field off its feet. When last seen, in December at Hollywood Park, he turned in a superbly game effort, finishing a close second to Lake William in the Dayjur after being pressed through taxing early fractions. His recent works show him to be on his toes, but historically he has needed a race or two to reach his best form. Eibar Coa will ride.

Uncle Rocco is a consistent, hard-trying individual who will certainly be a factor in the exotics. He was only 1 1/4 lengths behind True Love's Secret in his latest, and chased Kipperscope without being disgraced in turf sprints last summer and fall at Calder.

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