10/18/2006 11:00PM

Universal Form tries again


MIAMI - Universal Form pulled off one of the most improbable stakes victories of 2006, when he rallied from last at odds of 53-1 to beat War Front by a length in Gulfstream Park's Grade 3 Deputy Minister Handicap.

War Front has since gone on to win a Grade 2 stakes and finish second in a pair of Grade 1 races, and is preparing for the upcoming Breeders' Cup Sprint. Universal Form, on the other hand, has gone winless in six tries since the Deputy Minister and will try again to get back on the right track in Saturday's $45,000 Go to Will overnight stakes at Calder.

With the top two members of the local sprint division, Pomeroy and Nightmare Affair, also heading to the Breeders' Cup Sprint, the seven-furlong Go to Will has come up a wide-open race.

Universal Form is among a list of several key contenders, including Kopper Kilgoar, Folk Festival, Gold Timber, and Paradise Dancer.

Universal Form, a 5-year-old son of Formal Dinner, followed his triumph in the Deputy Minister by finishing third behind Mister Fotis in the Grade 3 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap at Gulfstream.

His best effort at Calder this year was a second-place finish behind Nightmare Affair in the Champali Stakes.

The stretch-running Universal Form, as always, will need an honest pace if he is to return to the winner's circle - and he should get just that with the speedy Folk Festival and Paradise Dancer in the lineup.

Folk Festival looked like an up-and-coming star in the 3-year-old sprint division after his back-to-back one-sided victories in May, including a six-length entry-level allowance race win, for which he earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure. But after Folk Festival finished nearly 20 lengths behind Too Much Bling in the Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes, trainer Brian Prichard sent him to the sidelines for a three-month hiatus that ends on Saturday.

Paradise Dancer was claimed for $40,000 by trainer Kirk Ziadie for owner Richard Averill on Aug. 4 out of a third-level optional claiming victory, for which he received a 101 Beyer. The oldest member of the Go to Will lineup, Paradise Dancer, 6, will return to the main track after finishing fourth in the Hooting Star Stakes on the turf earlier this month.

Gold Timber is a much-improved son of Prime Timber who has won 3 of his 5 starts this year at age 3, but has yet to win beyond six furlongs.

Kopper Kilgoar has not started since finishing second to Eternal Look in the Major Moran Stakes on Aug. 27.