06/19/2008 12:00AM

Classy Wrenice is playing Blue Angel's game

Email

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Blue Angel might have found a home sprinting on turf. She will seek her second win in three starts sprinting on grass on Saturday in the featured ninth race at Lone Star Park. The five-furlong allowance for fillies and mares also drew multiple stakes winner Wrenice.

Blue Angel, who is stakes-placed at two turns on turf, cut back to a turf sprint for the first time at Fair Grounds in December.

"It's five and a half on turf down there, and it's really not so speed-oriented," said Bret Calhoun, who trains Blue Angel."I mean, closers have a good chance on the grass down at the Fair Grounds, even going short. And so we just ended up putting her in that spot and she came off the turn, took the lead, and looked like a winner."

Blue Angel ended up second, after being overtaken in the late stages by Danceroftherealm, who would go on to win three turf-sprint stakes in her next three starts: the $100,000 Leggio Memorial and $100,000 Bienville, both at Fair Grounds, and the $111,000 Giant's Causeway at Keeneland.

As for Blue Angel, she was freshened with an eye to the Lone Star meet. She resurfaced in a $45,000 optional claiming race at five furlongs on turf May 11, and was razor-sharp off the bench for a wire-to-wire win. For the effort, Blue Angel earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 82.

"I didn't think she would go out to the lead," said Calhoun. "I thought she would be off the pace a little bit and close. It was a very impressive race. She's been second in a stakes and third in a stakes, and our main objective is to try to get a stakes win on her."

Calhoun's target had been the $50,000 Nevill/Kyocera, a turf sprint that was to be run here Saturday. But it was one of two stakes, along with the $50,000 Lone Star Oaks on Juneo28, that were canceled as part of a 10 percent purse cut in early May.

Saturday, Blue Angel will break from post 4 under Bobby Walker Jr.

"I think she's versatile," said Calhoun. "I think we'll be able to place her wherever need be, it looks like. I was always concerned that five-eighths might be a little short for her, but now it doesn't look that way."

Wrenice is making a rare start on turf. Her lone grass race was a fourth-place finish in the $45,000 Selma last October at Retama Park. She won an allowance and finished fourth in the $100,000 Valid Expectations in her two starts at this Lone Star meet.