02/06/2007 1:00AM

Suwanee River Handicap preview


Race 8 - Gulfstream Park
1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Suwanee River Handicap (Grade 3)
3-year-olds and upward. Fillies and mares
Purse $100,000

NOTTAWASAGA stalked the pace three wide before blowing the doors off "N3X" allowance company in 1:39.51 (.26 seconds faster than the listed Marshua's River Stakes for older fillies and mares on the same card), and the $700,000 yearling purchase seems to be coming into her own. She has won three of her last four races, has good stalking speed, and should offer some value stepping back up into graded company.
POTRA CLASICA was no match for the ultra-impressive Take D' Tour in recent Grade 3 event on dirt, but she'll make the third start of the form cycle on Saturday, and may be a pace factor in a race devoid of much early speed. Trainer Martin Wolfson excels with turf horses (29%, $4.08 ROI over the last 18 months). BRAZILIAN shows some big wins on her page, but she is often rank in the early stages of her races, and has had some problems with her lead switches as well. Like Potra Clasica and CURSORA, she can be close to the pace, but it will be interesting to see if Brazilian will stay nine furlongs.
NAISSANCE ROYALE has the best speed figures of this group, and should enjoy a ground-saving trip after breaking from the inside post position. The multiple Grade 2 winner has failed at even-money or less in three of her last four starts, however, and may not be worth another short price.
J'RAY and LA DOLCE VITA are a pair of closers that will need some help up front. BALERIANA won 7 of 9 turf races in Peru, but this will be her toughest test to date.

1. Nottawasaga
2. Potra Clasica
3. Brazilian