07/20/2005 11:00PM

Calder: Turf a big question mark


The $50,000 GTOBA Juvenile Filly Dash at Calder appears to be a rematch between Running Lass and Madison North, third and fourth in the Cassidy Stakes two weeks ago. Except, there's a twist.

The five-furlong race is scheduled for the turf, a surface on which none of the 13 2-year-old fillies entered in the race has run. To make matters even tougher on bettors, neither of the two favorites is particularly bred for the grass.

Twelve are allowed to start in the GTOBA Juvenile Filly Dash, restricted to the progeny of stallions nominated to the Georgia Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Both Running Lass and Madison North were bumped at the start of the Cassidy, a 5 1/2-furlong race won by the Lone Star Park invader Mykindasaint. Running Lass led until midstretch and finished third, while Madison North stalked the pace and ended up 1 1/4 lengths farther back.

Neither appears likely to move up on turf. Running Lass, trained by Angel Salinas, is by Running Stag and out of a Future Storm mare who was 0 for 6 on turf. The Shawn Musgrave-trained Madison North is by the dirt miler El Corredor and out of a Storm Bird mare who didn't run on turf in her two starts.

Flawless Gem also figures to be well bet. Flawless Gem won a five-furlong maiden special race at Calder by 7 3/4 lengths in her second start, her first on Lasix. By Big Jewel and out of a Rajab mare, Flawless Gem had no problem with a sloppy track that day, and her Beyer Speed Figure of 69 is the top last-out number in the field.

Share Plan and Southern Fortune each won her debut, both for a $25,000 tag and by more than five lengths.