02/16/2006 12:00AM

Your Bluffing loves oval, needs pace

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Likely Campbell favorite Your Bluffing has 12 wins in 17 Laurel starts.

Horse-for-the-course , who has won his last four starts at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, will be difficult to deny in Saturday's $100,000 John B. Campbell Breeders' Cup Handicap at Laurel Park.

A 6-year-old gelding trained by Mike Trombetta, Your Bluffing's 12 victories in 17 starts at Laurel are more than the combined number of wins over the course by his five opponents in the 1 1/8-mile Campbell.

He comes off a 1 1/2-length victory in last month's one-mile Native Dancer. The only question is whether Your Bluffing will get sufficient early pace to set up his closing kick.

There's very little early speed among the six Campbell starters, which could prove advantageous for Water Cannon. A once-promising 3-year-old who won five consecutive races from December 2003 to April 2004 and started in that spring's Preakness, went 0 for 14 in 2005. He has displayed new vigor in his first two races this year, however, wiring high-priced optional claimers going a mile and finishing second after setting fast fractions in a 1 1/8-mile race on Jan. 25.

Claimed for $32,000 out of that race, the 5-year-old Water Cannon will be making his first start for trainer A. Ferris Allen. Without any obvious pace pressure, Water Cannon may be able to steal the Campbell on the front end.

Laurel's leading rider, 18-year-old apprentice Rosie Napravnik, is named on two horses, but is expected to ride Legend's Silver in her quest to win her first stakes.

hasn't raced since December, but has been first or second in five of his last six starts, all against easier competition.

Speed Whiz is a wake-up candidate. He makes the third start of his current form cycle after two dull efforts.

Last fall at Charles Town, Speed Whiz easily won two 1 1/8-mile races in a row, including the track's premier event, the West Virginia Breeders Classic.

* The 3-year-old Sweetnorthern-saint, who earned a 102 Beyer Speed Figure for his 10-length victory in the Miracle Wood Stakes earlier this month, has been nominated to three Grade 3 stakes.

According to his trainer, Trombetta, Sweetnorthernsaint is under consideration for the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs on March 4, the Rebel at Oaklawn Park on March 18, and the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 18.