12/13/2007 12:00AM

Turf marathon good fit for Stream of Gold

EmailMIAMI - Stream of Gold has never won a race in the United States, and hasn't finished first in a race anywhere since April 2005. But despite more than 2 1/2 years of futility, Stream of Gold will likely be favored to defeat a strong field that includes highweight Revved Up in Saturday's $200,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap at Calder.

The Grade 2 McKnight is one of four graded stakes on the Grand Slam II card. The other big races are the Grade 2 La Prevoyante, the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap, and the Grade 3 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap.

Stream of Gold raced in England and Dubai before shipping into trainer Kiaran McLaughlin's barn earlier this year. After finishing a game second under allowance conditions in his U.S. debut, Stream of Gold stretched out to 1 1/2 miles to finish second behind eventual Breeders' Cup Turf champ English Channel in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park and fourth in the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine.

"We weren't sure the first time we tried him a mile and a half if he'd go that far but he obviously handled it well to be second behind English Channel," said McLaughlin. "And I was also very pleased with his effort at Woodbine. Now that we know he'll go that far we need to get a win under his belt and this looks like a pretty good spot."

McLaughlin said post 11 is a bit of a drawback, but he's confident rider Eddie Castro can put Stream of Gold in good position in midpack during the early stages of the 1 1/2-mile turf race.

Revved Up returns to the scene of his latest victory, a game nose decision over Soldier's Dancer in the 1 1/8-mile Bonnie Heath Turf Cup. Now 9, Revved Up has won 19 races, four at the McKnight distance, and more than $1.5 million in purses. He also captured the 1o5/8-mile John's Call at Saratoga this past summer.

"I'm not concerned about the distance and he couldn't be doing better," said trainer Christophe Clement, who confirmed Revved Up will not start if the course is something other than firm.

Despite the presence of Stream of Gold and Revved Up, the McKnight is anything but a two-horse race.

Among the other contenders are Dave, who comes in off a victory in the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap; Dreadnaught, who won this race in 2004 but is without a victory since the 2005 Laurel Turf Cup; Soldier's Dancer, who came within inches of upsetting Revved Up in the Bonnie Heath, and Interpatation, third in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.