06/14/2012 2:47PM

Colonial Downs: Motion opts for turf with Pachattack


Pachattack’s form on Polytrack looks a lot better than her two starts on turf the past two seasons. Nevertheless, the 6-year-old Pachattack figures to be one of the favorites in Saturday’s Grade 3 Edward P. Evans All Along Stakes at Colonial Downs.

Although Pachattack is cross-entered in Saturday’s Obeah on the main track at Delaware Park, Motion said Thursday she will likely run in the All Along.

“I have the feeling she’s probably a little better on the grass than she is on the dirt, “ Motion said. “That’s what I want to see for myself. This is a good opportunity to do that.”

The 1 1/8-mile All Along goes as race 6 at 8:10  p.m. Eastern on a three-stakes card highlighted by the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup.

Pachattack comes off a neck victory as the odds-on favorite in the Grade 3 Doubledogdare on Keeneland’s Polytrack two months ago. Her previous two starts on Polytrack produced a second in the Grade 1 Spinster and a win in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron.

In contrast, she was never competitive racing over yielding ground in the Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington and finished ninth of 11 in a Group 3 stakes in England in her last two appearances on turf in 2011.

Handicappers who distrust Pachattack’s ability to transfer her Polytrack form to turf have a trio of viable alternatives in Speak Easy Gal, Snow Top Mountain, and Thundering Emilia.

Speak Easy Gal has picked up small slices of the purse in a pair of Grade 3 stakes this season, finishing second in the Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico and fourth in the Suwannee River at Gulfstream. She set the pace and weakened late in both those races, once going 1  1/16 miles and the other time at the same nine-furlong distance as the All Along.

Snow Top Mountain rallied to win the Suwannee River in February, but failed to fire in two subsequent starts at the Grade 3 level. Coming off a five-length defeat in the Mint Julep at Churchill Downs, Snow Top Mountain must pick up six additional pounds as the 124-pound highweight in the All Along.

Thundering Emilia, a Group 3 winner in Peru and second by a length in a Group 1 race in that country, delivered her best performance since she began racing in the United States last June by winning the John Rooney Memorial at Delaware last time out. She was beaten by both Snow Top Mountain and Speak Easy Gal in the Suwannee River, but encountered traffic trouble in that race.

◗ Action Andy, no worse than second in 5 of 6 lifetime turf starts at Colonial, including a two-length score in last year’s Kitten Joy, switches from dirt to turf and stretches out from six furlongs to a mile in the $50,000 Da Hoss (race 5).

◗ Share Out, winner of a fast allowance race in his first try against winners while making his 4-year-old debut, merits respect in the $30,000 Old Nelson Starter Handicap (race 4), restricted to horses who have started for a claiming price of $25,000 or less the last two seasons.

– additional reporting by David Grening