09/19/2002 12:00AM

Tarnished Lady travels in quest of first stakes win


Trainer Todd Pletcher is sending Tarnished Lady from her Belmont Park home across the Hudson River to The Meadowlands on Saturday evening for one reason: to get a stakes win.

Tarnished Lady will be the top money earner in a field of nine set to go in the $50,000 Summit Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and 70 yards.

Also on the card, August Storm and Libby's Halo top a 12-horse field in the $50,000 Egret for 3-year-old fillies at five furlongs on the turf.

Tarnished Lady has a solid record of two wins and four seconds in 10 career starts, including a second in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont on July 20.

"We want to get her a stakes win, we'd like to enhance her value as a broodmare, it's as simple as that," Pletcher said. "She's been training very well, and we think this is a good spot."

Short Note, who also ships in from New York, has three wins and four seconds in 13 starts, and last ran in the Grade 1 Test against the likes of You and Carson Hollow. Short Note also ran second in two Grade 3's at Aqueduct in the spring, but has tailed off since. She was trounced by 14 3/4 lengths in the Test, and in her previous try, an optional claimer at Monmouth in July, she finished fourth of five, beaten 10 1/4 lengths. She was entered Friday but scratched to run here.

The main threat to Tarnished Lady may be the speedy Whoop's Ah Daisy, who has four wins and two seconds in seven lifetime starts.

Whoop's Ah Daisy showed talent and grit in her second-level statebred allowance win at Monmouth three starts back, battling three or four other speedballs early in the one-mile race, breaking open a seven-length lead, and cruising home uncontested.

Miss Atticus has the top last-race Beyer Speed Figure of 93, earned in an optional claiming win around two turns by 10 1/4 lengths at Monmouth on Aug. 25.

In the Egret, August Storm brings a win at this level and over this track in the $50,000 Prom last October. A repeat of her most recent good race, a third in the $112,000 Appalachian at Keeneland on April 19, would be hard for the others to top.

Libby's Halo comes off a second, beaten a neck, in the Snelling at Delaware Sept. 4, against perhaps a tougher field.

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