09/18/2009 12:00AM

Blues Street won't have it easy


The six-horse lineup for Saturday's $250,000 Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horseman's Association President's Cup at Philadelphia Park includes a pair of horses who accounted for the last three runnings of the 1 1/8-mile turf race - Soldier's Dancer and Interpatation - both of whom have been facing Grade 1 and Grade 2 stakes competition this season. But it's a 5-year-old who last ran for a claiming tag, albeit a six-figure one, and whose lone stakes victory came at Mountaineer Racetrack who has been made the heavy favorite on the track's morning-line.

The Todd Pletcher-trained Blues Street is pegged at 9-5 for the feature race on a 12-race Pennsylvania's Day at the Races card, which includes four other stakes that are restricted to statebreds.

On the plus side, Blues Street did win back-to-back starts on turf in the spring, including the $75,000 Memorial Day Handicap at Mountaineer, and was beaten only a neck going a mile over soft turf at Saratoga while racing for a $100,000 price tag.

But Blues Street has been third and sixth in his two attempts at nine furlongs and was the beaten favorite the last two times he returned to Mountaineer for a stakes. One of the horses who beat him, Yate's Black Cat, is also in the President's Cup field.

Interpatation, who won his maiden in the Grade 3 Palm Beach at Gulfstream Park as a 3-year-old, won the President's Cup in 2006 and 2007. But he has gone 0 for 16 since then, including 13 straight losses the last two seasons.

Soldier's Dancer, the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, has raced only twice since January and is a deep closer who may not get the fast pace he needs to be effective in this spot. He came from eighth to win this race last year, beating Interpatation by two lengths.

Based at Calder with trainer David Vivian, Soldier's Dancer hasn't raced since finishing second in an allowance race on the dirt there Aug. 1. He usually runs well when given a bit of a break between races, winning 4 of 10 starts when returning from a rest of 31 to 60 days, according to DRF's Formulator.

Given the lack of speed in the field, R J's Brigade has a shot to steal the race on the front end, much like he did the last time he raced on turf, although that race was against bottom-level claimers at Belmont Park.