01/14/2006 12:00AM

Three do it again a third time


Abbondanza, Saay Mi Name, and Dale's Prospect were separated by a length in the Dave's Friend on Oct. 29, and all finished far back as extreme longshots in the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial Dash three weeks later.

They will face each other again as prime contenders in the $85,000, six-furlong Fire Plug Stakes, the eighth race feature on a special Monday holiday program at Laurel Park.

Although Abbondanza, 5, won the Dave's Friend at 12-1, finishing a half-length in front of third-place Dale's Prospect and a length clear of fourth-place Saay Mi Name, he's not likely to be favored in the rematch.

That distinction should go to Saay Mi Name. A 6-year-old gelding, Saay Mi Name wasn't disgraced in the De Francis Dash when he broke last of 14 from the rail, lacked room at the three-eighths pole, and managed to get fifth, 7 1/4 lengths behind Bobby Frankel's winner, I'm the Tiger.

Saay Mi Name followed that effort a month later by finishing third, beaten a neck, in the Grade 3 Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct.

Last summer, Saay Mi Name beat Abbondanza by 3 1/2 lengths while winning the Chesapeake at Colonial Downs and finished 4 1/2 lengths clear of Dale's Prospect as the winner of an overnight stakes at Delaware Park.

Dale's Prospect nosed out Abbondanza in an optional claiming sprint at Pimlico last June.

Abbondanza and Dale's Prospect have been off since November, but both are working extremely well for their comebacks. Abbondanza shows three consecutive bullets at Laurel since mid-December, and Dale's Prospect shows a recent four-furlong bullet in 46.20 at the Bowie Training Center.

Three other runners merit consideration.

Celtic Innis won four of his last five starts, but hasn't raced since finishing second with a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore BC at Monmouth on July 4.

Crafty Schemer and Acclimate have each won two of their last three starts with Beyers in the mid to upper 90's.