04/27/2006 12:00AM

Spring House a dangerous closer


NEW YORK - Golden Gate Fields, home to Lost in the Fog and Kentucky Derby aspirant Cause to Believe, has the biggest race in the nation Saturday in the form of the Grade 2, $400,000 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile on the turf.

Other stakes of note include the Texas Mile at Lone Star, the Withers at Aqueduct, the Miami Mile BC Handicap at Calder, and the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs, which might generate a starter or two for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

Miami Mile

The fractions were hot in this race last year, resulting in an uncharacteristic off-the-pace win by Bob's Proud Moment. Between the quick Keep Cool and the returning T.D. Vance, who really has no choice but to send from his outside post position, the early pace should be demanding again. That helps Old Forester, who is the horse to beat, and Icy Atlantic, although he hasn't finished first in his last 14 starts. But I like Spring House.

Spring House has a big closing kick, but was unable to show it in his last two starts. Last time out, Spring House was caught behind slow fractions after steadying going into the first turn, and again on the first turn, and was also caught four wide on the far turn. He did okay to finish second to Woodlander, who is back in this spot but might get burned this time because of his preference to race right with the pace. Two starts back, Spring House was compromised by an extreme outside post position when fourth in the Tampa Bay BC. But three starts back in a tough allowance race at Gulfstream, Spring House showed he can be effective when he gets legitimate fractions to rally into. He was still among the trailers turning for home, but unleashed a furious stretch kick that fell just a neck shy of winning his first start in two months.

Beaugay Handicap

This is a good betting race because there are several horses likely to attract the attention of the betting public. Naissance Royale, in her only loss in this country, was a close fourth in last fall's Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup. She finished just a half-length behind Gorella, who came back to be a fine third in the BC Mile. The red-hot Pommes Frites should also take money, as well as Angara, a reputation horse off her win in the Beverly D. last summer.

All of this means I should get a decent price on my pick, Brunilda, who has not run a bad race without a legitimate excuse in more than a year. She comes into this off the best performance of her career. That was a second in the Honey Fox Handicap, in which she gave the classy Wend about as much as she could handle, and was clear for the place over the accomplished Honey Ryder. Wend came back to win the Jenny Wiley Stakes, and Honey Ryder came back to dominate the Orchid Handicap.

Texas Mile

Although this race is in Texas, it has a strong Southern California flavor, thanks to Preachinatthebar, Texcess, and Yes He's a Pistol. They could finish one-two-three, but Yes He's a Pistol is the play on top.

Trainer Doug O'Neill has Yes He's a Pistol in the best form of his career. He won his last two starts, earning the two best Beyer Speed Figures of his career, and in his most recent score, in the Santana Mile Handicap at Santa Anita, Yes He's a Pistol left Preachinatthebar back in fourth. Preachinatthebar then came back to beat Texcess in the Tokyo City Handicap. Equally important, Yes He's a Pistol has the speed to be in this from the start, and will be in the first flight turning for home, which is always a plus considering the short stretch at Lone Star Park.


Calder: Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap
3 and up, 1 mile, turf

Approximate post: Eastern-4:30 p.m., Central-3:30 p.m., Mountain-2:30 p.m., Pacific-1:30 p.m.; Miami, Fl., forecast: Sunny, 82¦

1Icy Atlantic10096995-2
2Twilight Road79689612-1
4Spring House8992938-1
6Keep Cool89899710-1
7Old Forester94971043-1
8Whos Crying Now81969520-1
9Big Luck90849120-1
10Bob's Proud Moment82817112-1
11T. D. Vance92100936-1

Track morning line odds

Aqueduct: Beaugay Handicap
Fillies and mares, 3 and up, 1 1/16 miles, turf

Approximate post: E-4:50 p.m., C-3:50 p.m., M-2:50 p.m., P-1:50 p.m.; Ozone Park, N. Y., forecast: Sunny, 59¦

3Naissance Royale86971003-1
4Little Buttercup82816720-1
5Pommes Frites10092908-1
6Half Heaven88868510-1
Main track only:
11No Sleep8491949-5

Odds by Michael Hammersly

Lone Star Park: Texas Mile
3 and up, 1 mile

Approximate post: E-6:47 p.m., C-5:47 p.m., M-4:47 p.m., P-3:47 p.m.; Grand Prairie, Tx., forecast: Chance of thunderstorms, 74¦

1Nakayama Kun87898720-1
2Play the Chime85726430-1
3Mr. Trieste93849215-1
4Charming Socialite91708420-1
5High Strike Zone881019312-1
8Yes He's a Pistol10297715-2
11Halos Sailing Sain88966710-1

Track morning line odds