08/08/2009 12:00AM

Zito pair must stay out of each other's way


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Nick Zito has been looking for spots to run his 4-year-olds Da' Tara, the 2008 Belmont Stakes winner, and Cool Coal Man, the 2008 Fountain of Youth winner. Unfortunately, he has found the same spot for both of those colts in Monday's $70,000 Albert the Great Stakes at Saratoga.

While it would appear that both excel with a similar forwardly placed running style, Zito said Saturday he plans on running both.

"We need to run them both," said Zito, who trained the horse Albert the Great, for whom the race is named. "If both horses stepped up we could look at races like the Woodward or [Jockey Club] Gold Cup."

Da' Tara is still seeking his first victory since his Belmont Stakes stunner at 38-1 last year. He has lost seven straight, but has finished second in three straight second-level allowance races. Alan Garcia rides from post 3.

Cool Coal Man won an overnight stakes at Belmont in gate-to-wire fashion on May 30, but didn't run well in the Grade 2 Suburban when he stalked the pace. John Velazquez will ride.

It will be interesting to see how these two stay out of each other's way on Monday.

"We're just going to let them both run their race and go from there," Zito said, refraining from revealing strategy.

Le Grand Cru, trained by Allen Jerkens, could also be a pace presence in this field.

Trainer Tom Albertrani has entered both Barrier Reef and Ea, but with Ramon Dominguez named on both Albertrani must scratch one. On Saturday, he said is leaning toward running Barrier Reef.

An inner-track specialist, Barrier Reef has not been out since finishing third in the Grade 3 Excelsior at Aqueduct on April 4. In that race, Barrier Reef raced behind horses for a good part of the trip before tipping wide in the stretch and coming with a mild late bid.

"His last race he was very unlucky not to win," Albertrani said. "He was trapped for most of the trip. I think he's training well going into the race, he's in great shape, and that's the most important thing."