12/31/2008 12:00AM

Spritely has several things going for her


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Speed and the rail is usually a lethal combination on Aqueduct's inner track. It also helps to be the best horse.

Spritely appears to have all three things in her favor when she heads a seven-horse field entered in Friday's $65,000 Restored Hope Stakes at Aqueduct. The Restored Hope, which failed to fill for Thursday, is run at a mile and 70 yards and will go as race 3 on the nine-race card.

Spritely, a daughter of Touch Gold, enters the Restored Hope off the best race of her career, a three-length triumph in the $60,000 Honey Bee Handicap at the Meadowlands on Nov. 8. In that race, Spritely broke from the extreme outside in the eight-horse field, had to run fractions of 23.02 seconds and 46.53 for the opening half-mile to get the lead, but then had plenty left and rolled to victory. She earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 97. She has had almost two months to recover from that race, a layoff that was by design, according to her connections.

"She's a filly that seems to run pretty well fresh,'' said Jonathan Thomas, the New York-based assistant for trainer Todd Pletcher. "This has been on our agenda for a while now.''

Friday, Spritely moves from the outside post to the rail, and though she has to carry co-top weight of 122 pounds, she will be the one to catch under Mike Luzzi.

"She has that tactical speed, but she's not a run-off,'' Thomas said. "She's able to do it, but do it comfortably where she can kind of give herself a breather and come off the bridle a little.''

Main Street looks like the other horse in the field with good early speed. A New York-bred daughter of Street Cry, Main Street has won two consecutive races since trainer Bruce Levine removed the blinkers from her equipment. One of those wins was a front-running score in the slop against open company at the Meadowlands on Nov. 15.

Here Comes Rita, a New York-bred daughter of Raffie's Majesty, has won three consecutive races, including the Montauk Handicap, since trainer John Morrison removed her blinkers.

Awesome I Am should move forward off a third-place finish in the Foil Stakes here on Dec. 14. That was her first start off a two-month layoff, which followed a non-effort over Keeneland's synthetic surface in the Grade 2 Raven Run.

Awesome Chic, Yet Again, and Drift to the Lead complete the field.