Its always been a clich: to disparage the state-bred program or damn with feint praise. Todays feature is an example of neither. This preliminary allowances for juvenile state-bred fillies at six furlongs is deep in speed and talent. Well look at three: Palmetto Blues (6-1); Jovanna (5-2) and Noble Fire (3-1).

Palmetto Blues ships in from her New Jersey base but has twice been successful with state-breds on the east side of the Hudson for Jim Ryerson and Smarty Elliott. She showed improvement in her second start, drawing off in deep stretch following a pace duel. Visually, she looked like a filly that would rate, something that would be needed here as there is much early gas in this sprint. The rail should help insure a good trip, given her tactical speed.

Jovanna ran off the screen to win her debut then went up to Finger Lakes and was a very game, albeit disappointing second in her stakes debut. Recycled for 47 days since that effort, she returns to a more likely speed and her pace figures indicates she can be the speed of the speed, given an alert beginning. Shell be partnered by a apprentice who thus far has not set the world on fire. But Rick Dutrow is giving young Angel Arroyo a big shot here. Who could argue with Dutrow, batting 33 percent at the present meet?

Noble Fire has similar form to Jovannas. She was an open lengths maiden winner then finished third in a state-bred stakes against some salty rivals. Like the better members of this group, shes long on early speed, so it will be a question of whether she can be rated effectively then kick to the wire. If Dutrow is pushing all the right training buttons then Alan Garcia is doing the same on horseback. She seems the more likely to secure the better trip.

Taking Noble Fire to win at 2-1 or greater and keying her first and second with the other two fillies in exactas.

Running Totals: (137) 48-30-15. Total Dollar Return: $281.80 [win selections only] {Wednesday results not included}