07/13/2006 11:00PM

Azalea BC preview


Here's what the chartcaller had to say about G City Gal's trip in the Grade 3 Ms. Preakness on May 19: "G City Gal, hustled from the gate, was steadied when in close nearing the four and a half furlong marker, checked sharply between rivals into the turn, came four wide for the drive and finished willingly." Not only did she have trouble that day, but she faced a tough group of 3-year-old fillies (the winner came back to take the Grade 1 Prioress while fourth-place finisher My Lucky Free returned to win a N2X allowance at Monmouth while "ridden out"). In her previous outing, G City Gal pressed a hot pace at Keeneland while 3-4 wide throughout, and still earned a whopping 101 Beyer Speed Figure. She's been given time to recover from those strenuous efforts, and should be forwardly-placed under Edgar Prado in the Azalea.

Rich Fantasy may have the best chance of upsetting G City Gal. The Illinois-bred employed rating tactics in her most recent start at Arlington, and figures to be taken off the pace once again on Saturday. She's never finished out of the exacta in sprint races, and earned a very competitive 96 Beyer Speed Figure two starts back in the slop. She acquitted herself quite well against the classy Wildcat Bettie B earlier this year at Oaklawn, and may offer some value for the solid Ronny Werner barn.

Victorina was making up ground against Churchill Downs horse for course Joint Effort in the Grade 3 Dogwood, and now turns back to her favorite distance. She should get some pace to run at in this spot, and has never been off the board for the Lost in the Fog connections. She shouldn't be overlooked.

Frolicing has good speed, and she overcame some trouble to win the Swept Away over this course and distance. She has an annoying tendency to drift during the stretch, however, and will face some tough young ladies in the Azalea. Mykindasaint has won over this surface, and should benefit from recent prep run at Evangeline Downs. She has the speed to be right there entering the turn.

Local hope A Sea Trippi has the stalking speed to benefit from a pace battle up front while Morner has received two confidence-building wins at Churchill leading up to this. Bayou's Lassie gets a class test, and will need an alert break (she has a tendency to get away poorly).

1. G City Gal
2. Rich Fantasy
3. Victorina