07/12/2006 11:00PM

Too Much Bling can outshine rivals

Too Much Bling was undone by getting pinned on the rail in his last start. For the Carry Back, he is in post 6.

MIAMI - Anybody looking to single a race or two in the all-stakes pick five on Saturday's Summit of Speed program at Calder will probably consider Lost in the Fog in the Smile Sprint Handicap and Dubai Escapade in the Princess Rooney Handicap. The best bet on the card, though, may actually be Too Much Bling, who appears to hold a decided class edge over his seven rivals in the $300,000 Carry Back Stakes.

may not be quite as big a standout as Lost in the Fog was when he dominated the six-furlong Carry Back last summer. Too Much Bling should be extremely tough to beat, though, if he is able to avoid the kind of trouble that led to his second-place finish in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup Stakes on June 10.

Too Much Bling got pinned down in tight quarters along the rail during the crucial stages of the Grade 2 Woody Stephens, which allowed the winner, Songster, to get first run at the leader. Too Much Bling ran on gamely once clear but had to settle for second. The setback snapped a three-race win streak, which included an easy decision over Songster in the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes and an earlier victory in Santa Anita's Grade 2 San Vincente.

"He got hemmed in the whole way and never got a chance to stretch his legs in his last start," said Bob Baffert, who trains Too Much Bling for owners Stonerside Stable and Blazing Meadows Farm. "That was a nice horse that won, but having the rail hindered us, and it's a lot better we're not drawn down on the rail again Saturday."

Too Much Bling drew post 6 for the Carry Back with Edgar Prado slated to ride.

"He's training well, and turning back to six furlongs should be no problem as long as he gets off clean," said Baffert. "This looks like a pretty good spot for him. The whole key going six furlongs is the break. No break, then no result."

Too Much Bling is one of two California invaders for the Carry Back, along with Northern Soldier, who is perfect in three starts. Northern Soldier has not raced since upsetting the Grade 2 Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 20.

will return to south Florida for the first time since winning a first-level allowance race by 4 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream Park on March 15. He is coming off a last-to-first second-level allowance win against older horses at Belmont on June 25.

The local contingent for the Grade 2 Carry Back is a strong one, led by , who is perfect in three starts at Calder. A runaway winner of both the Naked Greed here and Monmouth Park's Select Stakes during the spring, Yes He's the Man is coming off a troubled third-place finish in the Gilded Time Stakes at Monmouth on June 11.

The remainder of the field includes the undefeated Mach Ride, Blazing Rate, Folk Festival, and Lord Vicar.

Azalea: Victorina back to a sprint

The Grade 3, $300,000 Azalea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs figures to be a much more wide-open affair than the Carry Back, with Victorina and G City Gal likely to vie for favoritism.

Victorina, Lost in the Fog's younger stablemate, is a two-time stakes winner who finished a game third despite trouble when she stretched out to a mile for the first time in the Grade 3 Dogwood Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs on June 3.

"We wanted her to sit back and be closing stretching out to a mile," said trainer Greg Gilchrist. "And by taking back like we did it probably compromised her chances of winning. We'll use her a little more early on this time since it's a shorter race."

G City Gal, trained by Todd Pletcher, has won 2 of 4 starts and is coming off an eventful trip when third as the 6-5 favorite in Pimlico's Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes.

Frolicing overcame a slow start and her propensity to bear out badly around the turn to register an impressive victory in the Swept Away Stakes here June 16, but she is again poorly drawn on the rail. She is one of three locally based fillies in the Azalea, along with A Sea Trippi and the undefeated Bayou's Lassie.