02/25/2010 1:00AM

Allowance conditions ideally fit Lemon Spice


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The conditions of Friday's $53,000 allowance feature at Gulfstream park read "for 4-year-olds and upward which have never won a race on the turf other than maiden, claiming or starter." And a longtime trainer like Bennie Stutts Jr. wasn't going to miss a spot like that for a proven grass horse such as Lemon Spice.

"I think the race was written for him, in a manner of speaking," said Stutts. "He's already won two turf races for a $50,000 claiming tag, but he's never won an allowance race so this race fits him perfectly."

Lemon Spice has run well in three starts since returning from a 7 1/2-month layoff last fall at Calder and even better since returning to the turf during the opening week of the Gulfstream session. Lemon Spice rallied to register a nose decision over Big Stick when competing for a $50,000 claiming price in his 2010 debut, then returned 17 days later to finish third, beaten less than a length, under second-level allowance conditions.

"He's definitely gotten better since getting back on the grass and since I took the blinkers off him," said Stutts. "I've done that with a lot of older horses. Once they start showing you they are competitive they don't need blinkers any more.

"I also think I've got the best turf rider in the country," said Stutts, referring to Javier Castellano. "So with a little luck I'm looking forward to being in the winner's circle on Friday."

The race conditions also play right into the hands of the Shug McGaughey-trained Vacation, who has not only won a Grade 3 race over the artificial surface at Arlington but is graded-stakes-placed and a winner on turf as well.

Vacation will get some major class relief Friday when he returns to allowance company after finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile and fifth in the Grade 3 Ft. Lauderdale, both on dirt.

Anarko and Dynamoor have also won on turf. Anarko shocked a field of $62,500 claimers when leading throughout to post a 1 1/2-length triumph at odds of 53-1 here two weeks ago. Dynamoor won his maiden in his second start, when he rallied to a half-length victory over the local course on Jan. 16.