11/19/2009 12:00AM

Albarado making allowances


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Four allowances dot a 10-race Friday card at Churchill Downs, and a common denominator among all of them - not including purses of $50,000, give or take a few thousand - is Robby Albarado.

As usual, Albarado is a major player in the ongoing jockeys' race at Churchill. The sixth-leading rider here in terms of all-time victories, Albarado, with fellow Louisiana native Calvin Borel, might well be taking the fall-meet race to the wire, especially considering that another perennial title contender, Julien Leparoux, is scheduled to miss three of the last seven cards of the 21-day meet.

Albarado will have his first of six Friday mounts aboard Strike Impact for the second race, a $52,000 route with a third-level allowance condition. Strike Impact, trained by another Louisiana native, Pat Dupuy, will be one of the longer prices among the field of six in the 1 1/16-mile race, with Saratoga Sinner, Antrim County, and Here Comes Ben being more logical plays.

In the fourth race, a turf sprint with a $54,000 purse, Albarado has the call from a longstanding Chicago client, trainer Jimmy DiVito, on Piratesonthelake, one of the favorites in a field of seven. A 5-year-old Florida-bred gelding, Piratesonthelake is winless in seven career starts on grass but has recorded four seconds, most notably in a two-back dash at Arlington he lost by a nose.

In the $48,000 eighth, another turf sprint, Albarado is named on The Big Finisher, whose Oct. 28 maiden score at Keeneland was the second of a productive meet for trainer Tevis McCauley, a newcomer to the Kentucky circuit. The Big Finisher, one of nine in the entry-level race, also is listed as one of the program favorites.

In the $52,000 ninth, Albarado will reunite with another of his Chicago outfits, getting a leg up from Brian Williamson, son-in-law of retired trainer Harvey Vanier, on Home's the Best. The gray mare probably needed her last race, which came at Hawthorne, and stands to improve Friday when she takes on seven other fillies and mares in a 1 1/16-mile race governed primarily by a third-level condition.

Fridays at Churchill have been dubbed "Dress To Impress" days, with happy hour specials and other activities being held in the Paddock Pavilion from 3-6 p.m. Eastern. The first race goes at 12:40.