09/20/2009 11:00PM

Cardashi taking major drop at Philly Park


Cardashi, who rose from the claiming ranks at age 7 to win a $200,000 stakes last month, takes a substantial class drop to the starter allowance ranks Monday at Philadelphia Park.

Claimed for $10,000 by trainer Tim Kreiser on behalf of the Mason Dixon Stable on Feb. 26, Cardashi is entered in race 9, a five-furlong sprint that is the second of back-to-back turf races for horses who have started for a claiming price of $25,000 or less.

Two starts ago, Cardashi responded to his first stakes appearance by upsetting the Pennsylvania Governor's Cup at Penn National, paying $61, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 102, the highest of his 43-race career.

He came back on Sept. 7 to run a troubled fifth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths by the horse who finished third in the Governor's Cup, Chamberlain Bridge.

Although Cardashi looks like a deserving favorite in this spot, in his last appearance in the starter allowance ranks, facing a slightly easier group than he is matched against Monday, he finished only third.

Two other experienced turf sprinters, the 9-year-old Cyberflash and 7-year-old Titanic Win, are viable alternatives to Cardashi.

Cyberflash returns to the turf for the first time since June 2008, when he was narrowly beaten by Titanic Win in a second-level optional $32,000 claimer at Delaware Park. He won a pair of five-furlong sprints taken off the turf at River Downs in his first two starts this season.

The durable Titanic Win will be making his fourth start this month and coming back just four days after failing to fire in a second-level optional $32,000 claimer. Earlier this month, he came back five days following an off-the-board finish to run second at 33-1 in a $25,000 starter allowance.

If the race gets moved from the turf to the main track, it would benefit Cavallo Pazzo, who has won four in a row at four different tracks.

w In race 8, a $25,000 starter allowance for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on turf, R Vicarious Girl looks formidable. A 5-year-old trained by Diane Alvarado, R Vicarious Girl has already won six starter allowance races this season and was beaten just two lengths in the $92,000 Claiming Crown Tiara two starts ago at Canterbury Park.