08/21/2010 12:57PM

Cured back with statebreds at Finger Lakes


Considering that he has 13 victories during a 49-race career, including three already this season, the 7-year-old Cured can hardly be described as a horse who has a hard time finding the winner’s circle. Yet he remains eligible for a second-level allowance against New York-breds after failing 10 times to clear that condition since May 2008.

Cured, in sharp form after winning two of his last three starts against open claiming company, returns to the statebred ranks for Tuesday’s featured eighth race at Finger Lakes. He is one of three older sprinters entered for the optional $8,000 claiming tag in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint also open to New York-breds who have not won two allowance races restricted to statebreds.

Owned and trained by Joe Marino, Cured posted his best Beyer Speed Figure from 12 starts the last two seasons when he led wire to wire over a sloppy track to score by 2 3/4 lengths on July 23. Marino shows a 6-for-26 record with sprinters returning from a layoff of 31 to 60 days, according to DRF ’s Formulator, although Cured is 0 for 4 in those situations.

Cured’s chief competition could come from the coupled entry of Early Response and Barossa.

Early Response will be making his first start for M. Anthony Ferraro after being claimed for $7,500 at Belmont Park on July 18. He shortens up to six furlongs for the first time since February, but has been in front at the six-furlong call in each of his last three races and owns a 4-for-6 record at Finger Lakes.

Early Response looks similar to Buckridge Bailey, a horse Ferraro claimed out of a route in which he flashed high speed for the first six furlongs last fall. Ferraro switched Buckridge Bailey to a 5 1/2-furlong sprint in a second-level optional claimer and the horse responded with a victory at 6-1 odds.

Ferraro also has Barossa, who returns to his home track, where he is a six-time winner, after back-to-back good efforts on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs. Ferraro is 5 for his last 22 with sprinters returning in less than 30 days going from synthetic surfaces to dirt.

Pygmalion is a logical contender for leading trainer Chris Englehart. The horse was coss-entered in a turf sprint Sunday at Saratoga, but was scratched, even though the race was rained off the grass and moved to a sloppy main track. On dirt, Pygmalion is 3 for 13 at Finger Lakes, including a neck victory over Cured in June 2009.