08/14/2008 12:00AM

'Wizard' looked special in debut


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - He has run only once, and it was at 4 1/2 furlongs at that. But Reynaldothewizard's debut was good enough that he just might be the right one in a wide-open renewal of Thursday's Grade 2, $150,000 Saratoga Special.

A son of Speightstown, Reynaldothewizard looked like a seasoned professional in his debut, sitting behind a three-ply speed duel early, then sliding out to the four path in upper stretch and lengthening his stride powerfully while under just a hand ride from Julien Leparoux. Reynaldothewizard ran 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.51 seconds in a race that produced two next-out maiden winners.

"I wasn't surprised that he won - I was surprised the way he did it," said trainer Eoin Harty, who won the Grade 2 Sanford on July 24 with Desert Party coming off just a debut win. "He just seemed to settle in and when he was called upon, he responded very well. I hope he can run a similar race on Thursday."

Since his win, Reynaldothewizard has worked three times, including a bullet five-furlong move in 59.40 seconds over Saratoga's main track. Leparoux will ride from post 4 in the 6 1/2-furlong Special.

After finishing second in his debut, Proud Jefe won a maiden race at Churchill - in which he beat next-out Saratoga winner Cognito - and the Barenscheer Juvenile Stakes at Canterbury last out.

"He's got a lot of seasoning," said trainer Tom Amoss, who said Proud Jefe encountered trouble in his debut. "Though he's been very prominent in his last two races we know he can rate if that's what's called for."

Edgar Prado will ride Proud Jefe from post 3.

Run Away and Hide has won both of his starts, including the Grade 3 Kentucky Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 1. Trainer Ronny Werner skipped the Sanford because he felt the horse needed more time and a few more works. Werner is somewhat leery of the colt's rail draw.

"For his style, us wanting to stalk, it's not ideal," Werner said.

Lyin' Heart, trained by Steve Asmussen, beat winners in his debut at Lone Star then took a restricted stakes race, also at Lone Star. In the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill, he finished a late-running second to longshot winner Screen Your Friend. Lyin' Heart has a bad habit of breaking slowly, but Asmussen said it's a trait he has to live with.

"He's a laid-back, very quiet-demeanored horse," Asmussen said.

Dueling Alex, Join in the Dance, Break Water Edison, Medaglia d'Onore, and Unsung Song complete the field.