10/22/2003 11:00PM

Tigress Bythetail ships in as a player


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Penn National-based trainer Todd Beattie will hit the road again Saturday, continuing a familiar routine.

Beattie maintains a private barn at that track and estimates that 45 percent of his runners ship out to race.

Beattie will load Tigress Bythetail on the van for the $45,000 Miss Liberty Stakes, the Saturday night feature at The Meadowlands.

The 1 1/16-mile race is one of the few remaining stakes opportunities in the country for 3-year-old fillies.

Tigress Bythetail has won four of eight starts this year and makes her second trip of the season to New Jersey. She ran second to City Fire in the Serena's Song Stakes at Monmouth, beaten 16 1/2 lengths.

"We ran into a Michael Gill horse that was awfully tough that afternoon," Beattie said. "She went on to step up and run against even better horses."

Tigress Bythetail also took a step up in her last race, winning an allowance race against older fillies and mares at Mountaineer Park.

"She's doing very good," Beattie said. "It's a little bit of a stretch but she deserves this opportunity. She loves to run a distance and she's been training really well."

Beattie sounds confident and handicappers should take note. He shipped Sky Soldier to Monmouth this summer and won the Restoration Stakes for a generous $12 win payoff.

Breeders' Cup rooting interests

New Jersey racing fans have a number of local rooting interests in Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

Valid Video, a leading contender in the Sprint, trained out of Dennis Manning's barn on the Monmouth Park backstretch.

Valid Video ran once at Monmouth, finishing second in the slop in the Gilded Time Stakes on the opening weekend. He has not lost since, scoring impressive wins in the Grade 3 Carry Back Stakes at Calder and the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga.

He completed all of his Breeders' Cup prep work at Monmouth before flying to California on Wednesday.

Balto Star, trainer Todd Pletcher's hope in the Turf, was a frequent Monmouth visitor. Balto Star ran second in the off-the-turf Grade 3 Oceanport Handicap before pulling off the biggest stakes upset of the meet, a front-running victory in the Grade 1 United Nations Handicap at 37-1.

Volponi, the defending BC Classic winner, needs no introduction to Meadowlands fans. He ran second in last year's Meadowlands Cup, the final prep before his shocking Classic win.

He is traveling the same route this year, having run fourth in The Meadowlands Cup.

Volponi last year became the fifth horse to race at The Meadowlands and win a Breeders' Cup stakes in the same year. The others are Eillo, Wild Again, Alysheba, and Safely Kept.