10/18/2006 11:00PM

Windy well-suited to reversed track bias


LEXINGTON, Ky. - In another year, Bobby Frankel might have thought twice about sending a filly such as Windy to Keeneland. With a from-the-clouds running style that might have had her flailing against the renowned speed bias on the old dirt track, Windy would have faced a rugged task.

But this is the Polytrack era at Keeneland, and Windy suddenly finds herself on the opposite end of the bias spectrum. "Her style fits in good," Frankel flatly stated when discussing the $300,000 , the Grade 2 race that anchors a 10-race Saturday card at Keeneland.

Indeed, with 14 extremely well-matched fillies entered in the eighth running of the Raven Run, horseplayers probably could do worse than to back a confirmed stretch runner such as Windy. With late runners continuing to dominate the Polytrack action, Windy, with leading jockey Rafael Bejarano to ride, figures as one of the logical favorites in the seven-furlong race.

"I can't see her as any worse than second or third choice, not with the way that track's playing," said Frankel, who trains Windy for Gary and Mary West. "I know that her numbers are as good as the rest of them, too."

Windy earned 97 and 95 Beyer Speed Figures in winning her last two starts, both at Del Mar. A California-bred by Wild Rush, Windy will start from post 4, just outside of two other top contenders, Cherokee Jewel (post 2) and Capote's Crown (post 3).

Cherokee Jewel, trained by Tim Hills, has won 4 of 6 career starts, while Capote's Crown, trained by Todd Pletcher, had won two straight races in impressive fashion before being defeated in back-to-back Grade 1 races, the Prioress and Test.

The multitude of other viable options in a wide-open cast include Sabatini, Morner, and Starry Pie, all of whom have shown the kind of late-running ability that has fared well over the Polytrack; My Lucky Free, who enters off three straight romping victories at the Monmouth Park meet for trainer Cam Gambolati of Spend a Buck fame; and Original Spin, the Test runner-up.

The field is completed by Lake Alice, Vestrey Lady, Leah's Secret, Ex Caelis, Chandelle No. Five, and Jazzy Okie.

The Raven Run, which has been won by such standouts as Darling My Darling (2000) and Sightseek (2002) since its 1999 inaugural, is carded as the ninth race, with post time set for 5:15 p.m. Eastern.