08/17/2001 11:00PM

Wolfson bane absent


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Opinions will be varied and value should be plentiful in Monday's wide-open $150,000 Lake Placid Handicap at Saratoga.

A field of 15 was entered for the Grade 2 race run at nine furlongs over the Mellon turf course. Only 12 will be permitted to run.

The Lake Placid brings together 10 of the 18 horses who ran in two divisions of the Lake George Handicap on July 30. Light Dancer, winner of the faster division, is back, while Voodoo Dancer, winner of the other division, ran in Saturday's Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks.

Trainer Marty Wolfson was glad to see Voodoo Dancer not return for the Lake Placid. He has run against that filly five times - with three different horses - and been beaten every time. Wolfson is hoping that the absence of Voodoo Dancer and the presence of plenty of pace will help O K to Dance in the Lake Placid.

O K to Dance ran in the division of the Lake George that featured nine stakes winners. The pace was two seconds slower than the other division, however, and O K to Dance was too close to the pace and finished third.

"This filly is totally one-run and when she's rank - and she was rank that day - and too close to the pace, that's not her thing," Wolfson said. "She's got to have a good pace in front of her, and she'll make a tremendous run."

If O K to Dance has an edge in this field, it's her 2-for-2 record at nine furlongs. O K to Dance must, however, break from the extreme outside under Edgar Prado.

There should be sufficient pace in the Lake Placid with the likes of Amaretta, Snow Dance, and Silver Tornado in the field. Silver Tornado suffered her first career defeat in the Lake George when she broke slowly and flattened out after making a huge middle move.

Owsley is another who would benefit from a swift pace. She had her head up in the air when the gates opened in the Lake George and made a good run but was outkicked by Light Dancer and finished second.

Snow Dance and Platinum Tiara did not run in the Lake George, but deserve consideration in the Lake Placid. Snow Dance has registered two front-running victories since being put on the turf, while Platinum Tiara, who makes her first start for trainer Neil Howard, defeated O K to Dance in the Patricia Stakes at Hialeah.