03/31/2010 11:00PM

Blind Luck gets back on dirt


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The field for Friday's Grade 2, $300,000 Fantasy at Oaklawn might have drawn just four fillies, but with Blind Luck in the entries the race is a must-see prep for the April 30 Kentucky Oaks. She is one of the nation's top 3-year-old fillies and she will be making a rare start on dirt after shipping from Southern California.

"This was the best race on the dirt to try her at," said Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains Blind Luck. "I want to get on the dirt now and see how we do there."

The Fantasy, which Rachel Alexandra won last year before romping by 20 lengths in the Oaks, also drew All Due Respect, runner-up in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks; No Such Word, winner of the Grade 3 Honeybee at Oaklawn; and Tidal Pool, who owns the best Beyer Speed Figure for a 3-year-old filly in 2010, a 101.

The 1 1/16-mile Fantasy opens the Racing Festival of the South, when nine stakes worth $2.8 million are run over the final six dates of the meet.

Blind Luck was an Eclipse Award finalist last year at 2, when she won a pair of Grade 1 races and finished a troubled third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Blind Luck picked up another Grade 1 win in February and comes into the Fantasy off a third-place finish in the Santa Anita Oaks on March 6.

"She got a little bit far back on the Santa Anita racetrack and didn't quite close enough ground," Hollendorfer said. "She just got beat a couple of necks at the wire."

Blind Luck has since been prepping for the Fantasy on Santa Anita's dirt training track, Hollendorfer said. She has raced on dirt once, winning a maiden race at Calder in her career debut last June. Rafael Bejarano has the mount Friday.

All Due Respect set the pace and missed by a neck in the Santa Anita Oaks.

"She got a little intimidated," trainer Kathy Walsh said. "She got down in tight and they bumped her a couple of times. This filly, I think she'll run a real good race."

Walsh said there were a couple of reasons to ship from Southern California with All Due Respect, a private purchase following a maiden win at Fair Grounds in January.

"I wanted to get her back on the dirt," Walsh said. "It's a tough race with Blind Luck, but I just thought that she's run so good on different dirt tracks and we just kind of want to move her forward. We want to try her and see if she handles this real good, and then we'll take the next step."

All Due Respect will break from the rail, under Garrett Gomez.

Tidal Pool earned a 101 Beyer last out for an eight-length win in a second-level allowance at Oaklawn on Feb. 18. She covered a mile in 1:36.40, the meet's best time for the distance through Tuesday.

"That dimension of kicking it and really finishing like she did stamped her as one of the ones," said D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Tidal Pool. "The way that she finished up against older fillies . . . the fractions were very realistic, and yet she opens up on them."

Calvin Borel has the mount.

No Such Word has never been beaten at two turns, and in the Honeybee on March 13 she won by more than two lengths over Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Beautician. No Such Word will break from post 2, under regular rider Terry Thompson.

"The good thing about this filly is she's learned to relax wherever Terry puts her in the race," said Cindy Jones, who trains No Such Word. "She can stalk, she can come from out of it. And she likes a fast track, a muddy track. We have so many options with this filly."

There is no show wagering for the Fantasy.