10/28/2007 11:00PM

Allowance draws trio of stakes winners

EmailLOUISVILLE, Ky. - Sometimes a third-level allowance will draw a horse with a stakes win, and every now and then, one enters such a race with a couple of stakes victories. But they do not often show up as four-time stakes winners, not in a traditional third-level allowance, anyway.

An exception occurs Wednesday in the featured ninth race at Churchill Downs, when four-time stakes winner Somethinaboutbetty starts as the likely favorite in a $55,000 third-level allowance.

Somethinaboutbetty is a perfect fit for the conditions, which are not as restrictive as a standard third-level allowance. The six-furlong dirt race is for fillies and mares that have not won $8,990 three times other than maiden, claiming, starter, or statebred.

Because three of Somethinaboutbetty's four wins - all in stakes - came in races restricted to Maryland-breds, she remains eligible. In fact, she could win Wednesday and still be eligible to run back in a similar race.

Not that Somethinaboutbetty is unbeatable. Although all of her wins have come on dirt, her Beyer Speed Figures have generally been higher on turf than on dirt.

Her last two starts reflect as much. Racing against Maryland-breds in the Alma North Stakes at Timonium on dirt two starts ago, she won by a length, earning an 83 Beyer. Returned a little less than three weeks later against a classy group in the Sept. 20 Valor Lady Stakes on turf at Belmont Park, she then ran a close third, receiving a 93 Beyer.

Rene Douglas has the mount aboard Somethinaboutbetty, a 4-year-old Forestry filly trained by Todd Pletcher. The Runnin Cardinal Stable, a group led by University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, owns her.

Stakes winners Tres Dream and Silverinyourpocket head the opposition. The former won the Ponca City Stakes at Remington three starts ago, and the latter won the Grade 3 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill in the spring.

Court Vision taking familiar path

When Court Vision won Sunday's Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill, the similarities between him and Any Given Saturday - who rose to prominence about this time last year - were hard to miss.

The colts began their careers at Turfway Park for owner WinStar Farm, won races at Keeneland in October, and showed their stakes potential with eye-catching efforts at Churchill Downs. Court Vision did so in winning in the Iroquois, while Any Given Saturday flashed his promise with a close runner-up finish behind Tiz Wonderful in the Kentucky Jockey Club last year.

Now Court Vision's connections can only hope that Court Vision develops into a horse of the quality of Any Given Saturday, who won the Grade 1 Haskell this summer.

The two aren't mirror images of one another. For example, Pletcher trains Any Given Saturday, while Bill Mott trains Court Vision.

More than anything, it is the shape of their 2-year-old campaigns that have so much in common, said Elliott Walden, WinStar's vice president of racing.

"We have tried to gear our horses to have the second-half-of-the-year type 2-year-olds," he said Monday.

Without an emphasis on early 2-year-old racing, Walden said WinStar likes to get its horses started out at a track like Turfway, giving them a better opportunity to win or be competitive in maiden races as stepping-stones toward important fall stakes races.

"It's a lot tougher to do that at Del Mar and Saratoga, as opposed to at the secondary tracks," he said.

Court Vision, like Any Given Saturday, has a potential stallion's pedigree. He is by Gulch out of Weekend Storm, a full sister to 1990 Preakness winner Summer Squall. The dam is also a half-sister to A.P. Indy.

Walden said Court Vision is being pointed toward the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill on closing day, Nov. 24.

Brass Hat eyeing Clark Handicap

Mass Cap winner Brass Hat, who finished eighth in Saturday's Fayette Handicap at Keeneland, came out of the race in good condition and remains under consideration for the Nov. 23 Clark Handicap at Churchill, trainer Buff Bradley said.

Bradley believes Brass Hat failed to handle the Polytrack surface at Keeneland, although he had won the Prairie Bayou Stakes over Polytrack at Turfway Park in December 2005.

"That's all I can figure," Bradley said. "He's trained the same, or as well as, he's ever trained."