02/27/2004 12:00AM

Allowance co-features on turf


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A stakes-less Sunday at Gulfstream Park comes along about as often as five Sundays in February. Such is the case this Sunday, however, when two turf allowance races highlight a 12-race card.

The featured event is an entry-level allowance for fillies and mares at nine furlongs. An overflow field of 12 was entered, with 10 permitted to start. The co-feature is an entry-level allowance for 3-year-old colts and geldings, also at nine furlongs.

The 11th race includes five horses who ran in the fifth race here Feb. 7. Two Shark Betty won that 1 1/2-mile race, which was run over a yielding turf course. The course was so soft that later turf races on the card were transferred to dirt.

, a German-bred making her first start in this country, finished fourth that day and looms the one to beat Sunday. In that Feb. 7 race, Humaita was jostled at the start and forced back to last. She trailed for a mile before making an inside bid to reach contention around the turn, swinging outside for the stretch drive and surging back to the inside in the lane. The top three finishers of that race rallied outside, which appeared to be the better part of the course that day.

"She ran well considering how soft it was and the fact she had to make a pretty big run to get back into the race," said trainer Graham Motion.

The course should be in decent shape Sunday. Motion does well with horses making their second starts off extended layoffs, which is the case with Humaita and Blackwater Angel, who finished seventh in the same race.

, trained by Todd Pletcher, was the favorite in the Feb. 7 race, and she stopped badly after racing in contention early on. Shortening up should help Krasnaya.

Coherent didn't make it to the races until late fall of her 3-year-old season, but she got up to win her debut over the Belmont Park turf course by a neck. Her dam, Unify, is a half-sister to graded stakes winners Caress, Della Francesca, and Country Cat.

The eighth race features several 3-year-olds who are trying turf for the first time. Pletcher sends out Battle Hero, a son of Deputy Minister out of the champion mare Flanders.

"His pedigree doesn't scream turf, but his style of running does," said Pletcher, who also sends out The Penny Drops. "He's got a big, flat foot on him so we'll try this out and see how it works."