04/13/2006 12:00AM

Wend to perform on home stage


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The only time Wend ran before the home folks, she was narrowly beaten by a filly who won the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf in her next start.

Six months later, Wend will make her second Keeneland appearance - this time without having to face the retired Intercontinental. Bred and owned by Claiborne Farm, a major player in the Kentucky racing and breeding industry, Wend will be favored when she starts from the outside post in a field of nine fillies and mares Saturday in the Grade 2, $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes.

Hall of Famer Bill Mott is the trainer of , a 5-year-old Pulpit mare who distinguished herself as a grass standout last year when she reeled off five straight wins on the East Coast. After finishing second to Intercontinental in the Oct. 9 Galaxy at Keeneland, then sixth in the BC Filly and Mare Turf, Wend was given a brief respite before returning with a front-running victory in her seasonal debut, the March 4 Honey Fox at Gulfstream Park.

"She ran really well in Florida," said Edgar Prado, who rode her in the Honey Fox and has the mount again Saturday. "She was very aggressive out of the gate, on the bit, but she had enough left in the tank."

At Gulfstream, Wend defeated Honey Ryder, who wheeled back to win the Grade 3 Orchid Handicap two weeks ago. To win again Saturday, Wend will have to turn back a talented crew, one that includes Asi Siempre (post 6), winner of the Grade 3 Valley View here last fall; the uncoupled Bobby Frankel duo of Amorama (post 5) and Mirabilis (post 8); the Todd Pletcher-trained Brazilian (post 1), a winner of her last three starts; and Miss Mambo (post 7), a dangerous stretch runner from the Christophe Clement stable.

Completing the Jenny Wiley lineup are Zona (post 2), Ambitious Cat (post 3), and Cape Hope (post 4).

Wend would appear to be the dominant speed in the 1 1/16-mile Jenny Wiley, but Prado was non-committal about race day tactics.

"If she wants to go to the lead, we could, or I may cover her up," said Prado. "She can go either way. She has proven that. I will have to see how the race sets up."

The Jenny Wiley goes as the seventh of 10 races.