08/15/2004 11:00PM

Yaddo 'Cap has no clear-cut favorite


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The second half of the Saratoga meeting commences Wednesday with the $100,000 Yaddo Handicap, a New York-bred turf stakes that may lack cachet but certainly not contenders.

Big Tease and Brandala, winners of split divisions of the Mt. Vernon Handicap in June, head the overflow field, but an unpredictable forecast and a consistent group of statebred fillies and mares, including up-and-coming 3-year-olds The Lamp is Lit and Sabellina, make for a good betting affair.

finished sixth in the Grade 3 All Along Breeders' Cup in Virginia and Big Tease finished third in a optional claiming event at Belmont.

Trainer Tom Walsh said Brandala, a 6-year-old mare, was compromised by the heat and humidity at Colonial Downs in the All Along. Walsh said Brandala has rebounded from that July 10 trip and is "at the peak of her career."

Walsh also said, however, that the key for Brandala "is to have pace to run at," and she may not get that Wednesday. Brandala is the 122-pound highweight, conceding 5 to 12 pounds to the field.

Big Tease is 2 for 2 on yielding turf, with both wins coming at the Yaddo distance of 1 1/8 miles. Big Tease gave way grudgingly when dueling for the lead in a 1 1/8-mile open company race at Belmont on July 8. Big Tease has worked four times over the Saratoga training turf course in preparation for this. Richard Migliore rides from post 10.

was a beaten 4-5 favorite to Brandala and must overcome post 12. She was part of the pace in the slower division of the Mt. Vernon and seems to be more effective when stalking or closing. Jerry Bailey rides.

, from the leading connections of trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez, could be the main speed of the Yaddo, but he has not yet won at this distance.

Trainer Joe Aquilino wheels Sabellina back on just 10 days' rest in the Yaddo. She is 3 for 3 since trying turf. As a 3-year-old, Sabellina gets in with 110 pounds, a weight assignment jockey Pat Day can make.

, another 3-year-old, is 2 for 3 since trainer Richard Schosberg put her on turf.