06/13/2007 12:00AM

Yachats returns out of key race


ELMONT, N.Y. - Though Yachats was nominated to Sunday's Grade 2 Vagrancy Handicap, her connections appeared to have found a more suitable spot in Friday's $65,000 Alyssum Stakes at Belmont Park.

A field of five fillies and mares was entered for the Alyssum, run at 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. The Allysum is the featured event on Friday's card, which will be the first of six twilight Friday cards to be run the remainder of the meet. First post is 3 p.m.

Yachats, a half-brother to the multiple stakes winner Your Bluffing, is coming off a neck loss in a third-level allowance race here on May 3. That race turned out to be a key event, as the winner, Teammate, came back to take the Grade 2 Shuvee while the third-place finisher, Her Royal Nibs, won a restricted allowance race at Finger Lakes. Solarana, who finished fourth that day, was beaten a head in last Saturday's West Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park.

That May 3 allowance race was Yachats's first start since she finished fifth in the Miss Woodford Stakes last August at Monmouth Park. Tristan Barry, the assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, said Yachats had a hard campaign early on as a 3-year-old and the decision was made to give her some time off.

In her return race, Yachats chased the pacesetting Her Royal Nibs through a 45.32-second half-mile. When she overtook Her Royal Nibs, Teammate collared Yachats in upper stretch and the two ran in tandem until deep stretch, when Teammate got up.

"She ran a very gutsy race," Barry said. "Teammate was a better horse on the day."

Yachats has been working well at Saratoga, including a bullet five-furlong move in 1:00 on June 7. John Velazquez rides Yachats from post 2.

Grecian Lover, trained by Allen Jerkens, has lost her last nine races. Her last victory came July 13, when she won a third-level allowance race going 6 1/2 furlongs over this track. In a typical Jerkens move, Grecian Lover shows two quick half-mile breezes four days apart. Jean-Luc Samyn rides Grecian Lover from the rail.

Sugar Swirl cuts back to a sprint after finishing third in the Yanks Music Stakes going 1 1/16 miles here on May 23. Two starts back, Sugar Swirl finished second behind Eyes on Eddy in an optional claiming race at Churchill Downs. Eyes on Eddy came back to win another optional claimer at Churchill.

Veneti and Last Romance complete the field.