Tabby Lane, after a break of a couple of months, is back in action tomorrow. Unfortunately, the race drew pretty tough and she’s going to have her hands full. Drawing the outside post didn’t help matters either in the 7 Furlong $5,000 starter allowance over the main track.
She’s 12-1 in the morning line and here is how the field stacks up:
Blushing Juliet (Hinsley/Guidry) – Starting for her third barn since May. Had a good, tough win at $16,000 at Parx back in February but hasn’t visited the winner’s circle since though has hit the board at $5,000.
Nephila (Hogue/Allen) – 18th start of the season. Last win was a 10 length romp in a $5,000 claimer at Penn National. Has hit the board relatively consistently in allowance company.
Motion Miss (Benning/Homeister) – This mare has been all over the place with her Beyer’s this season. Nice win at $16,000 at Calder before three deconstructions at the hooves of better. Last race, a $6250 starter found her last by 30+.
Crafty Tigress (Guciardo/Oro) – Reeled off four wins in five starts at Presque Isle while climbing through the $7500 claiming conditions before heading back to Ohio for a couple of state-bred races. First race back after a couple of months off.
Who Loves Ya Baby (Wasiluk/Delgado) – Picked up a win after a short break at $8,000 at Tampa. Starter is the next logical choice for a mare that can win between $5,000 and $8,000 and is always competitive. She bested Tabby by 3 back in May before the trip north to Canterbury.
Excellent Rate (Troche/Citron) – Hasn’t been competitive in her first two starts back after nearly a year off. Switches back to the main track and trying a starter to shake things up.
One Last Nitemare (Caramori/Rossi) – Kentucky import has been impressive at much higher levels. Second after the claim after being picked up for $32,000 then disappointing in new barn debut at Churchill in this type of race. Has wins at $20,000 and in $7500 and $10,000 starters this year. Six week freshener and back for a trainer that’s 17% with this type of layoff.
Whyprincesswhy (Ness/Goncalves) – Another coming in off of a brief freshener. Was in the exacta before the break in seven straight races ranging from $5,000 to $12,500 in PA, MD and OH while putting up Beyers better than anyone else in the field. Likes to be up close on or near the engine and may have some early company. Unless she’s pressed enough early, probably the one to beat.
TABBY LANE (RHONE/BUTLER)
This one sure shaped up to be a tough one and Tabby is probably a deserving 12-1 in her return. Her works coming back have been decent and she had a nice bullet work two back. There is always a question of fitness after a break which is why you see her at seven furlongs and not her mile-ish distance which we’ve found to be her best.
Whyprincesswhy certainly has the early speed and may be classy enough to wire the field. Fortunately for Tabby there is not a dearth of speed in here as Who Loves Ya Baby, Crafty Tigress and Motion Miss all will want to be there early. The key will be how close they can push Whyprinceswhy and how much Tabby has in the tank for the stretch run.
Not that closing is a guarantee either. Inside of Whyprincesswhy, One Last Nitemare will be charging late and has notched an 80 Beyer coming off the pace at Turfway in a $20,000 optional claiming race. While her best Beyers have been over the artificial surfaces, she’s been no slouch on the real dirt either, picking up wins in $7500 and $10,000 starters at Churchill. If Whyprincesswhy gets worked over early, One Last Nitemare is probably the choice in a stretch battle with Tabby.
I think this is a tough one for her to win, but she certainly has a chance to hit the board. That won’t keep me from rooting hard for her to pick up her 5th win in 2011 and end a great year.