07/04/2013 7:52AM

Colonial Downs: Silver Tie Affair giving Bert Allen a shot

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Dannhauser, 5, is based at Monmouth Park with trainer Kathleen O’Connell.

Can lightning strike twice in the same place for trainer Phil Schoenthal and D Hatman Thoroughbreds? The answer will come Saturday night in the Bert Allen Stakes, one of five $50,000 stakes restricted to Virginia-breds on the Virginia Commonwealth Turf Festival card at Colonial Downs.

A year ago, Schoenthal claimed a mare named Staged Affair for $20,000 on behalf of a partnership headed by D Hatman Thoroughbreds. Less than a month later, Staged Affair upset males in the five-furlong Punch Line Stakes at 23-1 and followed up by beating males again in the Bert Allen, when that race was contested at 5 1/2 furlongs.

The Allen has been lengthened to 1 1/16 miles this year and goes as the fourth of the five stakes on Saturday’s program, scheduled to go off at 9:44 p.m. Eastern. Among the nine entrants is Silver Tie Affair, a 7-year-old gelding claimed for $25,000 two starts ago by Schoenthal for D Hatman Thoroughbreds.

In his first start for his new connections, Silver Tie Affair raced up close for six furlongs before tiring to finish a well-beaten eighth in an overnight handicap. He has lost 10 straight since his last victory, in May 2012 at Pimlico, but did win the Daniel Van Clief, a stakes identical in distance and conditions to the revised Allen, in 2011.

Among the others in the Allen lineup, Dannhauser looks dangerous if he is ready for a top effort in his first start since November. Last July, Dannhauser made a remarkable run in the Van Clief, coming from last of 10, 25 lengths behind after a half-mile, to score a three-quarter-length victory. Dannhauser, a 5-year-old based at Monmouth Park with trainer Kathleen O’Connell, won his first start of 2012 following a seven-month layoff.

The 8-year-old Class Bopper is trying for the rare distinction of winning a stakes over hurdles and on the flat at the same track. Three years ago, Class Bopper won the Grade 3 Zeke Ferguson Memorial, a 2 1/4-mile steeplechase, by 10 lengths. He has raced just twice since October 2010, finishing eighth in last year’s Van Clief and winning a conditioned claimer going a mile on June 21.

In the other turf stakes:

** Deputy Fling, whose 3 wins in 6 starts at Colonial include the 2011 running of the Bert Allen, and Boltin’ Out, who is 2 for 2 at this year’s meet and 4 for 5 lifetime at Colonial, head six older sprinters going five furlongs in the Punch Line (race 10).

** The 7-year-old mare Cobbley’s Breeze, third in each of the past two runnings of the Brookmeade Stakes when it was contested at a mile, takes a third crack at the race for fillies and mares at the new distance of 1 1/16 miles (race 8). Her rivals include Leda’s Swan, 3 1/2-length winner of a first-level optional $20,000 claimer on June 15; 6-year-old In the Rough, the Brookmeade runner-up and winner of an overnight stakes at Delaware Park in 2012; and lightly raced 4-year-old Misty in Malibu, winner of a first-level allowance last time out at Pimlico.

** Classy Zip, beaten one length or less in turf sprint stakes at Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, and Monmouth Park in 2012, makes her first start since January and seeks her first win since August 2011 in the 5 1/2-furlong Oakley Stakes for fillies and mares (race 7). Among those who have raced recently, Lion Down by Me is a serious contender. She has 2 wins and 2 seconds in 4 previous starts at Colonial, including a two-length win on June 16.

** Six first-time starters and three horses making their second lifetime starts make for a puzzling lineup of 2-year-olds going 5 1/2 furlongs in the Jamestown Stakes (race 6). Long On Value, who won his career debut on dirt at 17-1 at Delaware, is the lone winner in the field.