06/04/2009 11:00PM

Bopolene to try again


Bopolene was coming off a turf sprint win at Pimlico when she finished second at 15-1 in last year's Oakley Stakes at Colonial Downs. The circumstances may look similar, but Bopolene will be a lot shorter price when she makes a return appearance in Sunday's $50,000 Oakley, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint restricted to Virginia-bred and Virginia-sired fillies and mares.

A year ago, Bopolene had just won her maiden and got little respect on the tote board when she outran her odds to be beaten just 1 1/4 lengths. Now, as a 4-year-old, she's coming off a win over open company in a second-level allowance sprinting on turf at Pimlico.

With a record of 3 wins in 10 starts on turf, Bopolene is also the lone member of the 12-horse Oakley field with more than a single grass victory on her resume.

Viable alternatives to the likely favorite include Trophy Collector and River Fancy.

The 3-year-old Trophy Collector has not been worse than third in five lifetime starts, all on dirt. She is taking a substantial class drop into restricted company after finishing third in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness in her first start following a break of almost two months.

Over the last five years, her trainer, Rodney Jenkins, shows a 5-for-16 record (31 percent) and a $3.49 return on investment with horses making their first start on turf in their second start off a layoff.

The 3-year-old River Fancy displayed high early speed in a pair of turf routes and a turf sprint earlier in her career. Claimed for $35,000 by trainer Mike Trombetta in March, she easily won her first start for her new connections sprinting against high-priced optional claimers on the main track at Delaware Park.

Pillow Pal probably is a better horse than she displayed last time out. Making her first start since October, she was bumped at the start and never threatened in the same May 22 race won by Bopolene.

Pillow Pal is from the always-dangerous barn of Hamilton Smith and easily won her only previous start on Colonial's turf as a 2-year-old two seasons ago.