08/11/2004 12:00AM

Weather key in Waya scramble


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It figures. It's Friday the 13th. It's Saratoga. And rain is in the forecast. It's a mix that concerns several trainers with horses entered in Friday's $65,000 Waya Stakes, because soft turf, or a forced switch from the turf to the main track, would significantly alter the composition of the 1 1/2-mile race.

"I'm worried about the rain," said trainer Dan Peitz, who entered firm turf specialist Primetimevalentine in the Waya on Wednesday morning. "If it's soft, she's a no-go. Dirt, she's really a no-go. She's doing good, maybe as good as she's done all summer. I just hope the weather cooperates."

is one of several runners in the Waya with a good chance to win. She most recently finished a close third in a 1 3/8-mile stakes race at Delaware in which her late run was compromised by a soft early pace.

"She's such a victim of how a race sets up," Peitz said. "For some reason, this year, she seems almost lethargic the first half of the race, whether there's pace or no pace."

faces slightly softer company after chasing Beverly D.-bound Bedanken in Arlington's Modesty Handicap.

"She's going to like the distance," said her trainer, Patrick Byrne. "The fillies she met last time were tougher. This isn't an easy spot, but it's easier. She's still going to have to run a top race. I don't know if soft turf would move her up, but she may handle it better than others."

is also back in an easier spot after chasing soft-turf standout Wonder Again over a soft course at Belmont Park. Humaita won two straight prior to that setback.

The one filly who might most benefit by a downpour that moves the race from turf to dirt is Savedbythelight, who captured Aqueduct's Ladies Handicap on the dirt last December. Her turf form is good, too; she was second in Gulfstream's Orchid Handicap in March.

"If it rains, we're in the garden spot," said her trainer, Rick Violette. "If it comes off the turf, she'll be 1-9."

did not perform well on yielding turf in Belmont's Sheepshead Bay Handicap in her last start. She is reunited with jockey Richard Migliore, who rode Savedbythelight in the Ladies.

"She can be a funny filly," Violette said. "The first half-mile, you have to ride her like a Quarter Horse. You have to get aggressive to keep her in the game. Migliore suits her well."