04/06/2003 11:00PM

You, Forest Secrets meet midweek


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Anyone expecting to find the kind of humdrum racing that typically gets fed to North American horseplayers on Wednesdays hasn't been following Keeneland very closely in recent years.

Keeneland has become something of a haven for graded stakes horses competing on weekdays. About 10 years ago, being financially capable of doing so, Keeneland instituted a stakes-a-day policy for its spring meet. The result has been not only a feature race with a purse of at least $100,000 every day, but also a means of dodging the midweek malaise that so many other tracks find unavoidable.

So what frequently surfaces is a matchup like the one on Wednesday: You, a multiple Grade 1 winner of over $1.4 million, will clash with Forest Secrets, also a Grade 1 winner, in the $100,000 Madison Stakes.

You, purchased early in her 2-year-old season by Bobby Frankel on behalf of owner Edmund Gann, was one of the top 3-year-old fillies of 2002. Although she enters the Madison on the longest losing streak of her career - five races - she still figures to be a solid favorite facing six other fillies and mares in the seven-furlong Madison. After all, You has not raced outside Grade 1 company since early in her 2-year-old season.

You, to be ridden by Jerry Bailey, most recently finished second behind Starrer in the Feb. 16 Santa Maria at Santa Anita. She had a sharp six-furlong workout last week at Hollywood Park before departing for Keeneland.

Forest Secrets, owned by Debby Oxley and trained by John T. Ward Jr., scored her most prestigious victory in the 2001 Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park at odds of over 50-1

Several times since then, Forest Secrets, now 5, has proven that Acorn was no fluke, most notably when she won the 2001 Falls City and 2002 Rampart handicaps.

Perhaps the most likely upsetters in the Madison are A New Twist, an inconsistent but highly capable filly trained by John Kimmel, and California invaders Spring Meadow and September Secret.

Rounding out the field are Flaxen Flyer and Slews Final Answer.

The Madison, which occupies the usual race-8 feature slot on a nine-race card, was run for the first time last spring. Grade 1 winner Victory Ride got the victory for trainer Rusty Arnold.

Four allowances (races 5, 6, 7 and 9) and a 2-year-old maiden special weight (race 2) also will be run Wednesday, which has first post at 1:15 p.m. Eastern.

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