08/21/2007 11:00PM

Arravale seeks rebound in allowance

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Will the real Arravale show up Friday at Woodbine?

Canada's Horse of the Year and champion turf female in 2006, Arravale came up empty in her seasonal bow here July 22, finishing last of six in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly over 1 1/8 miles of turf.

Arravale will be traveling 1 1/16 miles on turf in an open allowance race for fillies and mares.

"She's going good; we'll find out how good she's going on Friday," trainer Mac Benson said.

"I felt good about her last time. It was just a throw-out race, hopefully."

Friday's allowance is a prep for the Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian here Sept. 16. The Canadian, a 1 1/8-mile turf race, is a stepping-stone to the Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor here Oct. 21.

Last year, Arravale finished second in the Canadian and won the E.P. Taylor to clinch her year-end honors.

"She's got to use this to go on," said Benson, who has named apprentice Tyler Pizarro to ride Arravale for the first time.

"He's been working the filly for me. I wanted to get some weight off - he can do the 115 pounds - and he's a good rider."

Arravale's four opponents, all of whom carry 120 pounds, include Elle Runaway and Scarlet Butterfly, the third- and fourth-place finishers in the Dance Smartly.

Elle Runaway, who closed strongly to be beaten a neck under import rider Garrett Gomez, will have Patrick Husbands aboard as she looks to end a 15-race winless streak dating back to Sept. 3, 2005.

Scarlet Butterfly finished 1 1/2 lengths back in the Dance Smartly after winning the allowance prep over 1 1/16 miles of turf three weeks earlier.

The horse to beat, however, could be Vestrey Lady, who will be seeking her third straight win.

A stakes winner on dirt and Polytrack last year, Vestrey Lady disappointed here this spring until she moved to the turf on July 27. Vestrey Lady led throughout in an open allowance race over one mile that day and then came back to wire the Grade 3 Royal North over six furlongs of turf, leaving heavily favored Financingavailable in second place.

If she is allowed any kind of easy lead, Vestrey Lady, under regular rider Emile Ramsammy, could again spring the upset.