07/28/2005 11:00PM

Tamweel vulnerable in turf sprint


Horseplayers face a dilemma in analyzing Sunday's $35,000 Saratoga Sizzle overnight handicap at Ellis Park. Should they merely bet the best mare, or rather, the one most likely to be at her best under the race conditions?

Tamweel, who finished a close fourth behind Ashado in the Breeders' Cup Distaff last fall, is unquestionably the best horse. But whether she is better than Singit and Speedy Sonata, a pair of skilled turf sprinters, after a six-month layoff and going 5 1/2 furlongs on grass is in question.

Although Tamweel has experience running on turf - first in England and later in Southern California - it was not until she raced in main track routes last summer that she began to reach her full potential. She won the Mariah's Storm Stakes at Arlington Park and later in the fall placed second behind Azeri in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland.

A three-length defeat behind Ashado followed in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, and then in her only race of 2005, she turned in a rare poor effort, running sixth in the Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita.

Sunday's Saratoga Sizzle marks her second start for trainer Tom Amoss, who said in the days after the Santa Monica that Tamweel had been compromised from a throat infection. Orlando Mojica rides.

Singit poses a late threat to front-running Tamweel. She used a late run to win a pair of turf sprints this past meet at Churchill Downs, including a stakes race.

Speedy Sonata, in the midst of a troubled year, is also likely to threaten over her favorite turf course. Last summer she won an allowance at Ellis Park by running 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in 1:00.84, the fastest time on the course since 2002.

Goldleafed Mirror, Glitter Act, Candybedandy, and Superfly Girl complete the field.

Healthy victories for Moquett

Trainer Ron Moquett, whose stable at Ellis Park was quarantined for three weeks after a confirmed case of strangles in his barn, saw the first of his quarantined horses return to race Thursday at Ellis. Better yet, they were successful.

High Purpose and Kill Joy - two of the horses affected by the quarantine - won the first and fourth races. High Purpose paid $33.80; Kill Joy returned $4.40 as the favorite. Calvin Borel rode both winners.

Through Thursday's races, Moquett was in a six-way tie for second-place in the training standings with a record of three wins, three seconds, and a third from 11 starters. Veteran trainer Bob Holthus leads with five wins from 19 starters.

In the midst of the quarantine, Moquett's horses that were stabled outside Ellis Park were allowed to race at the track.

Quick impact by Prescott

Jockey Rodney Prescott, barred from River Downs after making critical comments about the track surface, has made a quick impact at Ellis Park. Since beginning at Ellis July 21 - more than a week after the Ellis meet began - Prescott has won with six of 26 mounts, placing him in eighth in the jockey standings.