11/24/2007 1:00AM

Bsharpsonata proves she likes turf, too

EmailLAUREL, Md. - Based on her first four races, Bsharpsonata seemed far better on dirt than turf. Now, she seems equally adept on both surfaces.

Bsharpsonata, a daughter of Pulpit who won her two-turn stakes debut on dirt two months ago but surrendered a clear lead in her first start on grass, proved she can handle the turf Saturday when she drew off by 1 1/4 lengths in the $100,000 Selima Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Laurel Park.

Bsharpsonata ($19.60) saved ground under jockey Eric Camacho while sitting just off the pace set by the previously unbeaten Fareena, took the lead at the eighth pole, and easily held off 3-1 second choice Grace and Power, who finished 2 3/4 lengths clear of Fareena. The Cat's Affair, a maiden from Barclay Tagg's barn who finished a closing second sprinting in her career debut, was a nonthreatening fifth as the 2-1 favorite.

The winner covered 1 1/16 miles on a firm course in 1:43.66.

Although Bsharpsonata faded to fourth over a yielding course going a mile in the $250,000 Epitome Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26, trainer Tim Salzman said he wanted to give her another chance on turf because her dam, Apasionata Sonata, won a 1 1/2-mile grass stakes.

"This was the plan all along, to run in this race," Salzman said. "The last time she faced a little better bunch of horses and it was her first time on grass. She probably got tired because of the soft grass. She's pretty much handled everything we've asked. She can handle dirt or turf."

Camacho, mired in a 1-for-26 slump the past month, was aboard when Bsharpsonata won the one-mile Irish Sonnet by seven lengths at Delaware Park, and he liked how she worked five furlongs over a soft turf course at Laurel 10 days before the Selima.

"I worked her on turf the other day and I said, 'She's the real deal,' " Camacho said. He added that he had plenty of horse when he asked Bsharpsonata to make her run in the Selima.

"I thought I needed a seat belt to hold on," Camacho said. "She pulled me so bad."

Bsharpsonata, owned by Cloverleaf Farm II Inc., now has won 3 of 6 starts and $135,750.

Futurity: Cowboy Cal much the best

Cowboy Cal ($4.80), proving his decisive win over maidens in his turf debut was no fluke, cruised to a 6 1/4-length victory in the $105,000 Laurel Futurity.

Based in New York with trainer Todd Pletcher, Cowboy Cal was beaten more than 11 lengths in his first start, a dirt sprint, but led wire to wire when switched to grass for his second start, earning an impressive Beyer Speed Figure.

In the 1 1/16-mile Futurity, Cowboy Cal stalked in third under Edgar Prado, charged to the front turning for home, and was never challenged. Casanova Jack, a 22-1 shot, finished second, with Titan of Industry nosing out Bearactor for third.

The winning time was 1:42.80.

Prado rode four winners on the 10-race card, including favored Benny the Bull in the De Francis Dash.

* Heavy favorite Fire Hero ($3) cruised to a 4 3/4-length victory in the $50,000 Maryland Million Starter Handicap. Ridden by Ramon Dominguez for trainer Tony Dutrow, Fire Hero ran one mile in 1:39.63.