06/21/2012 11:43AM

Colonial Downs: Sensible Lady eyes rebound in Buckland Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Sensible Lady returns in just two weeks for the Buckland Stakes at Colonial Downs.

Sensible Lady soared to a career-best 97 Beyer Speed Figure when she upset the $100,000 The Very One Stakes at Pimlico a month ago. Predictably, after improving 23 points in The Very One off her previous win in a turf sprint, Sensible Lady “bounced” when she returned three weeks later against fellow 3-year-old fillies in the Crank It Up at Monmouth Park.

The question for handicappers is what can Sensible Lady be reasonably expected to do coming back just two weeks later against older fillies and mares in Saturday night’s $50,000 Buckland Stakes at Colonial Downs?

On the positive side, Senisible Lady’s 85 Beyer for her third-place finish in the Crank It Up still stands as the best last-race turf figure among the nine opponents she will face in the 5 1/2-furlong Buckland. Quick turnarounds for in-form turf sprinters, however, are not one of trainer Tim Salzman’s strengths. Horses returning in 14 days or less in a turf sprint after finishing in the money are just 2 for 13 (15 percent) for Salzman. That includes a fifth-place finish from Sensible Lady when she made her grass debut last fall following back-to-back daylight victories at Charles Town.

Viable alternatives to Sensible Lady include Smartys Emperoress and Toni’s the Won.

Smartys Emperoress, 3 for 8 lifetime in turf sprints, rallied to get second in the Unbridled Sydney at Churchill Downs last time out. Her trainer, Eric Reed, is 6 for 36 (17 percent) with a $2.54 return on investment with turf sprinters back after a break of 31 to 60 days. That includes a 2-for-3 record by Smartys Emperoress.

Toni’s the Won, 4 for 7 sprinting on turf, was a close second in last year’s Buckland. She shortens from 7 1/2 furlongs after racing close up until the final furlong of that race.

The field also includes Caribbean Lady, who has been second or third in her last four starts sprinting on turf, and Miss Oil, whose lone clunker in her last seven starts came when she was outrun in The Very One two races ago.

Caribbean Lady makes her first start in two months, but trainer Tony Dutrow shows a 3-for-11 record (27 percent) with a $2.09 ROI with turf sprnters returning from a break of 61 to 180 days the past two seasons.

Miss Oil, first or second in 6 of 8 starts at Colonial, steps up in class off a near-miss against $16,000 starter allowance competition two weeks ago.