05/26/2006 12:00AM

Stakes previews for May 27


Race 10 - Churchill Downs
6 Furlongs
Winning Colors Stakes
3-year-olds and upward. Fillies and mares
Purse $100,000

Ever Elusive looks like a strong play in the Winning Colors on Saturday. Trained by Todd Pletcher, this $1M yearling purchase raced against the grain of a potent speed bias at Keeneland in the Madison Stakes on April 2, and still ran on well for third behind heavily favored Dubai Escapade. Ever Elusive has good tactical speed, and may settle into a nice stalking trip just off a contested pace. High-percentage rider Rafael Bejarano gets the mount, and Ever Elusive boasts an improving Beyer pattern.
Flying Falcon earned a career-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure going gate-to-wire at Keeneland, but she figures to face pace pressure in this spot, and a bounce is certainly a possibility. She should be prominent when they swing into the stretch, but may be best played on the bottom of exotic tickets.
When Reunited is good; she's very, very good as evidenced by her 107 Beyer effort at Belmont Park last fall. She is another that has tactical speed, and she may find a good spot stalking the speeds, but hasn't raced since November, and could be a bit short for this. She loves the Churchill surface, and wouldn't be a surprise.
Atlas Valley and Malibu Mint are two closers that would benefit from a sizzling pace. Hot Storm has won her last five races, and could be the speed nearest the rail, but she will have to win this facing severe pace pressure, and hasn't been out since January.

1. Ever Elusive
2. Flying Falcon
3. Reunited

Race 3 - Monmouth Park
6 Furlongs
John J. Reilly Handicap
3-year-olds and upward. New Jersey-breds
Purse $60,000

Hammered and Joey P. look like strong contenders based on Beyer Speed Figures, but Who's the Cowboy may offer the best value in the John J. Reilly. The gelding rolled past 2006 Carter Handicap winner Bishop Court Hill in winning an optional claimer at the Meadowlands two back, then was overmatched in the Grade 1 DeFrancis Memorial to close out his 2005 campaign. He won at Monmouth off the bench to kick off his three-year-old season, and should get a solid pace to attack here.
Joey P. is a true horse for course, winning six of eight over this surface, but he figures to get bet hard based on his gaudy Beyer Speed Figures, and solid company lines. He beat three next-out winners in his last race, and has run well fresh in the past, but may not be worth the short price.
Hammered went 3-3 here in 2005, but the lightly raced runner hasn't been out since drifting in the stretch of his July allowance victory. He may put some pace heat on Joey P., but is another that could be undervalued on the tote board.

1. Who's the Cowboy
2. Joey P.
3. Hammered

Race 10 - Monmouth Park
1 Mile 70 Yards
Frisk Me Now Stakes
3-year-olds and upward
Purse $65,000.

Park Avenue Ball looms the most likely winner of the Frisk Me Now. A three-time winner over this Monmouth surface, Park Avenue Ball ran well in defeat in the Grade 1 Haskell here in 2005, and enters this race off a strong sprint prep at Calder. He was caught up in a speed duel while in between foes on April 29, but still stayed on well in the stretch, and galloped out with vigor. He's very comfortable around two turns, and shouldn't be far off the early pace.
Auguri may be the speed of the speed for Barclay Tagg. He shook loose to win a high-priced claimer at Gulfstream two back, and then was victimized by 110 Beyer winner Little Thunder in the Artax Handicap last time out. There is a gap in his work tab, but this speedster outworked 72 others on Sunday, and may prove dangerous on the lead at a price
Halos Sailing Sain broke from a tough outside post in the Grade 3 Texas Mile, and was wide every step of the way. He made a premature move in that race before understandably tiring late, and a repeat of his best Beyers would put him squarely in the hunt.
Mayan King is a lightly raced runner with some upside potential, and he will make the important third start of the form cycle after pairing up Beyer tops. Don't be surprised if he makes another forward move on Saturday.
Contante and Your Bluffing are solid closers in a speed-laden heat, but both seem a bit off form. Network had trouble in a key race last time out, and may offer some value in the exotics.

1. Park Avenue Ball
2. Auguri
3. Halos Sailing Sain

Race 9 - Philadelphia Park
7 Furlongs
Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap
3-year-olds and upward
Purse $100,000.

Pocomoonshine dueled through quick fractions while bogged down on the rail in his most recent start, and still dug in gamely under a confident ride to prevail with a triple-digit Beyer. He will face other speeds once again on Saturday at Philly Park, but is razor-sharp right now, and doesn't necessarily need the lead to fire his best shot. Trainer Ramon Preciado is clicking at a 30% win rate for the meet, and his charge should be right there when they swing into the stretch.
P. Kerney failed to benefit from a speed-favoring surface at Pimlico last time, but now goes third off the layoff, and has put up some big numbers in his career. He's quick from the gate, but may not be as fast as some of the other speeds, and isn't as effective as a stalker.
Big Apple Daddy comes out of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap, but that race came back pretty slow. He seems well spotted at this level, and his stalking style should play well considering the expected hot pace up front. His Beyers are going the right way, and he should be rallying nicely in the stretch. Little Thunder earned huge Beyer winning the Artax two back, but didn't lift a hoof in the Grade 3 Westchester Handicap 27 days ago. He can rate off the pace, but figures to take money based on his back Beyers, and may not be worth low odds.

1. Pocomoonshine
2. P. Kerney
3. Big Apple Daddy

Race 8 - Arlington Park
1 Mile
Hanshin Cup Handicap
3-year-olds and upward
Purse $100,000.

Fifteen Rounds only beat three rivals to earn a 106 Beyer last time, but he set a pressured pace while under a long hold before digging in for the victory. He'll face tougher competition in the Hanshin Cup, but the win machine projects to be on the lead, and could be tough to knock out in the stretch.
Gouldings Green is undeniably the horse to beat after his dynamite effort in the Alysheba at Churchill Downs, but one has to wonder if that race took a lot out of this lightly-raced 5-year-old. His stalking style should suit him nicely in this field, and he was second in this race last year behind a sharp Lord of the Game. He's a very dangerous threat, but won't offer much wagering value.
Semaphore Man stretches out off several sprint races, and may find a good stalking spot while in the clear for the backstretch run. He faltered in his only other previous route race, however, and may simply be better going shorter.
Three Hour Nap is a gritty colt, and he is 4-5 over this track. He'll need to run faster to win this, however. With Distinction is a graded stakes-winning sprinter that has done well in one-turn routes. He'll likely press Fifteen Rounds from the opening bell.

1. Fifteen Rounds
2. Gouldings Green
3. Semaphore Man

Race 8 - Belmont Park - 1 3/8 Miles (Inner Turf)
Sheepshead Bay Handicap (Grade 2)
3-year-olds and upward. Fillies and mares
Purse $150,000.

Noble Stella took advantage of a dawdling pace while on a clear lead to take the Bewitch at Keeneland last time out, and although she will have her hands full with the favorites on Saturday, may get a similar trip up front. The distance-loving mare will offer a good price for those that believe.
Honey Ryder is extremely logical after an impressive romp in the Orchid Handicap at Gulfstream Park. Her tactical speed will have her up close to the moderate fractions, and she goes out for top connections. She's the one to beat, but lost as the favorite in this race last year, and has yet to win over the Belmont lawn.
Latice just missed to Honey Ryder in the Grade 1 E P Taylor last year, and won her seasonal debut in sharp fashion. She won the French Oaks in 2004, and should be running late.
Asi Siempre had all kinds of trouble when second to top-class Wend in 2006 debut at Keeneland, and she placed at this 11-furlong distance in France last season. She often has trouble leaving the gate, however.
Angara was compromised by a slow pace in her prep run in the Beaugay, and should go better with that race under her girth. Last year's Grade 1 Beverly D. winner wouldn't mind soft ground.

1. Noble Stella
2. Honey Ryder
3. Latice