09/01/2005 11:00PM

Woodlander out to keep streak alive


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Woodlander has improved greatly since switching from dirt to turf earlier this year, as evidenced by a victory in the Grade 3 Lexington at Belmont July 10. He will attempt to extend his win streak to four on Sunday at Saratoga in the Grade 3, $100,000 Saranac for 3-year-olds on the grass.

, sent out by trainer Tom Albertrani for owner Darley Stable, leads a field of 10 in the Saranac, race 10 on an 11-race card. The Saranac will be run at 1 3/16 miles.

Woodlander was winless on the dirt in four starts as a 2-year-old and 3-year-old. He made the surface switch at Gulfstream on March 20, running second in a maiden race. Since then, he has three consecutive wins, including maiden and allowance victories versus older horses prior to capturing the Lexington. Edgar Prado retains the mount.

According to assistant trainer Andy Rehm, Albertrani always thought Woodlander's future would be on grass.

"We were expecting him to run a big race in the Lexington," Rehm said. "After his maiden win, Tom said, 'This is going to be our Lexington winner.' "

If Woodbine shipper Palladio can replicate his main track form on grass, he will be very competitive in the Saranac. Palladio won the Grade 2 Ohio Derby on July 2. He had won the Victoria Park Stakes at Woodbine one start earlier. But he also won a Keeneland allowance race on turf in late April, in which he closed from last - 15 lengths back at one point - to win by a half-length.

In his last start finished fifth in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth.

"I've always thought that he would be better on turf than on dirt," trainer Roger Attfield said. "He got such a bad experience in the Haskell. His eyes and throat were full of mud. I thought after that I'd run him back on the turf to give him a nice race."

Jose Santos picks up the mount on Palladio because his regular rider, Richard Dos Ramos, has a commitment at Woodbine for Attfield on Sunday.

joins Palladio as another Woodbine shipper who has a strong chance. In his last start, Jambalaya romped to an eight-length, win in the 12-furlong Breeders Stakes, the third and final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

, a New York-bred trained by John Kimmel, has won three in a row on turf in restricted company.