07/29/2010 11:08AM

Comeback time for Lady Railrider


Trainer Steve Specht will bring the multiple-stakes-winning Lady Railrider back to the races at the Sonoma County Fair in the $50,000 Luther Burbank Stakes on Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile turf test drew seven runners.

Lady Railrider makes her first start in nine months, but she has run well off a layoff before. She won the California Cup Matron last October off a five-month layoff and followed up with her first turf win in the Pacific Heights at Golden Gate Fields last Oct. 24.

She was being pointed to the Sunshine Millions in January, when quarter cracks, an ongoing problem, sent her to the sidelines.

Specht said he is expecting a good race from Lady Railrider on Saturday.

“I’ve got enough works into here,” said Specht. “She’s plenty fit, but works are not as good as races.

“I think she’s good enough to beat these. She won Cal Cup last year off a layoff, and she has been training well.”

Specht has long pointed the 5-year-old Lady Railrider to the Luther Burbank for her comeback and has had only one minor setback in preparations. Lady Railrider tied up the day before she worked a mile on July 15, and “didn’t get as much out of it as she might have,” he said.

“That’s been a while,” said Specht, “and she had a good six-furlong work since then.”

The field’s highweight is You Lift Me Up, winner of this spring’s Work the Crowd at Golden Gate Fields. She carries 122 pounds, two more than Lady Railrider, who beat her in last year’s Pacific Heights.

You Lift Me Up ran third in the Grade 3 Wilshire at Hollywood Park and was a troubled fourth as the odds-on favorite in the Fran’s Valentine in her last start, which came at Hollywood on May 23. She has won over the Santa Rosa turf course, having taken an optional claimer in 2008.

Rounding out the field are Ms. G.I. Jane, Christmas Ship, Belmont Cat, Marmelauras and Novato.