05/30/2007 11:00PM

Surface switch seems likely


MIAMI - The heavy rains that are forecast for the south Florida area this weekend will be like manna from heaven for the drought-stricken region, but not happy news for the majority of trainers who have entered horses in Saturday's $50,000 Blazing Sword Stakes at Calder.

The Blazing Sword is carded at 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf, but chances are good the race will end up being switched to a mile on the main track. Thirteen older horses were entered in the overnight stakes, and most have been racing exclusively on the turf this season.

If the Blazing Sword stays on grass, then turf specialists such as Jet Propulsion, Elizabul, and Fancy Silver should vie for favoritism. But if weather predictions hold true and the Blazing Sword is moved to the main track, Paradise Dancer will become strictly the one to beat.

Jet Propulsion is coming off the biggest win of his career, a wire-to-wire 1 1/2-length victory on the turf in the Grade 3 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap on April 28. The son of Double Honor earned a 102 Beyer Speed Figure for his performance, only 4 points lower than the career high of 106 he registered here in his 2006 finale.

Jet Propulsion will pick up nine pounds, to 123, under the allowance conditions of the Blazing Sword off his Miami Mile win. He is best when allowed to relax on the lead and there is plenty of speed to run with him Saturday.

Fancy Silver and Elizabul could prove the major beneficiaries of a hotly contested pace. They rallied to finish first and second under second-level allowance conditions on May 18. They were unable to threaten a loose-on-the-lead Jet Propulsion in the Miami Mile, with Elizabul finishing seventh and Fancy Silver 11th and last.

Paradise Dancer chased Jet Propulsion before weakening to finish third in the Miami Mile while making his first start on turf in nearly seven months. Paradise Dancer remains winless on the grass in eight tries, having registered all eight of his victories, including a pair of overnight stakes tallies here last season, on the main track.