I think I just said this about Diplo not too long ago, but it certainly fits in this case with Tabby Lane: We may not be at do or die yet, but we can see it from here! A little less drastic from Tabby’s point of view – we know she’s good but our hope is, of course, that we got a steal at $10,000. I think we’d all agree that we have - just how much of a steal remains to be seen. We are hoping that we have a horse that can compete at the Stakes level here at Canterbury, but she’s going to have to prove that she can this weekend.
This afternoon she’ll be racing in the featured 7th race, a $21,000 Allowance race going six furlongs over the main track. Dean Butler is once again riding her and she’s facing five other fillies and mares over what promises to be a fast track. Here’s how they stack up:
1. Summer Nights (Silva/Stevens) – The ‘star’ of Miguel Silva’s barn, this lady was left at his doorstep, so to speak, when the old owner could no longer carry the bills. She moved to the turf where she’s been outstanding, moving from $3,000 claiming company to winning a $13,000 allowance last out. She’s going to want the lead and reverts to the main track for her Canterbury debut.
2. Trust N Vegas (Rhone/Rivera II) - The ‘other’ Rhone horse in the race (or is that us!). This lass would prefer to go a bit longer, but she’s classy enough to be there at the end. An interesting angle is that we decided to pass on Trust N Vegas and ended up with Tabby instead.
3. Miss Missile (Smith/Eikleberry) – Another speedster, this gal won Fonner Park and Delta Downs Stakes as a four year old and has earned over $400,000 in her career. Her five year old debut was a shaky 4th of 5 in a Lone Star allowance and then drilled by 19 in a Fonner stakes race last out. She’ll want the lead as well. While she carried her speed a little further last out, neither 2010 starts have been very impressive. Makes you wonder about the six month layoff at the end of last year – especially after finishing the season six for eight and winning two stakes in a row. Classy mare, though.
4. Thelifeoftheparty (Rarick/Rivera) – This lady is two for two at Canterbury – both last season and both at this distance over the main track. She’s started twice since a brief freshener and both were solid efforts in the Princess of Palms Stakes and an $30,000 Optional Claimer at Turf Paradise. She’ll try and settle off the pace much like Tabby will and will certainly be a factor at the end.
5. Lady Countdown (Smith/Goodwin) – The ‘other’ Smith horse (Smith v. Rhone!). Another filly who’s going to want the front – thank goodness. She should clear out on the inside of us and let Dean measure himself against Thelifeoftheparty. She looks to be a cut below this group of fillies and mare.
6. TABBY LANE (RHONE/BUTLER)
Tabby certainly has an excise from her last race if anyone saw it. She broke a bit slower than normal, found herself in the muck near the rail, couldn’t get out of it and by the time she moved to the outside she was carried ten wide into the stretch. The chart writer said ‘no factor’, but that hardly takes into account the train wreck of her trip.
This is a nice group she’s in against. Her better recent Beyers puts her in with all in here except maybe Trust N Vegas. TNV hasn’t gone less than 7 furlongs in a long while, however, though the race does seem to be shaping up really well for her. Speaking of the race set up, Summer Knights, Miss Missile and Lady Countdown should all get out quickly and vie for the lead. Tabby and Thelifeoftheparty should be settled in behind these while Trust N Vegas should be the early trailer, though I don’t see her being too far off the pace either. As the group turns for home is when the race will really take shape. We’ll see then how sturdy the front runners are going to be and just how much room Trust N Vegas needs in order to close to the front. Dean should have Tabby in a good spot as they straighten out for home and the question will then be does she have the speed left to overtake the leaders and hold off her stablemate when he pushes her button.