08/20/2009 12:00AM

Blind Date has class edge


Blind Date, who rallied to get up by a head as the 5-2 favorite in last month's Grade 3 Virginia Derby, takes a distinct class drop to face Maryland-bred 3-year-old fillies in the $50,000 Pearl Necklace at Laurel Park.

Based locally with trainer Hamilton Smith, Blind Date is 3 for 4 on turf, including a pair of stakes during Pimlico's spring meet, one against open company and the other against fellow statebreds.

Smith indicated Blind Date will be nominated to multiple races on the Sept. 26 Maryland Million card, including the Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on dirt at one mile and the Ladies for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

The filly most likely to threaten Blind Date in the 1 1/16-mile Pearl Necklace is Ravenous, who has won back-to-back races in front-running fashion since trainer Richard Small switched her to turf.