Updated on 09/17/2011 11:46PM

De Francis attracts 18 for 14 spots


The entry box at Laurel Park was a busy place Wednesday, when the races were put together for Saturday's card, which contains four stakes worth $100,000 or more, highlighted by the Grade 1 .

A total of 105 horses were entered for seven stakes, an average of 15 per race. But since 14 starters are the maximum, quite a few of those horses were relegated to also-eligible status.

That list includes Attila's Storm, the fourth-place finisher in last month's Breeders' Cup Sprint. Although beaten only 3 1/4 lengths at 45-1 in the Grade 1 Sprint, Attila's Storm, based in New York with trainer Richard Schosberg, has low earnings compared with the 17 other horses whose connections want to run in the six-furlong, $300,000 Dash. As a result, Attila's Storm wasn't among the 14 leading money earners the past two years, and needs one defection to get into the main body of the field.

The fate of Attila's Storm may well rest with the 5-year-old mare Sensibly Chic. A consistent performer facing females at the Grade 2 level, where she won the Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park and missed by a nose in the Genuine Risk, Sensibly Chic will be a longshot if she goes in the Dash. She's cross-entered in the seven-furlong Stefanita, a race restricted to fillies and mares that drew nine runners.

"We will discuss what to do, but don't be shocked if she stays in the Dash," said trainer Tim Tullock. "It can only help her r?sum? if she runs on the board or lightning strikes and she wins, so we are willing to take a chance."

Even without Attila's Storm, the Dash will have some accomplished sprinters, headed by Elusive Jazz, who finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint after winning the Grade 3 Phoenix at Keeneland; Tiger Heart, runner-up in the Grade 1 Vosburgh; I'm the Tiger, second in the Grade 2 Alfred Vanderbilt; and horse for the course Gators N Bears.

Gators N Bears, who is 4-2-4 in 10 lifetime starts at Laurel, is making the final start of a career in which he has won more than $800,000, the highest in the field. He will stand in 2006 at Maryland Stallion Station for $5,000 live foal.

There are also 14 or more entered in Saturday's four stakes on the grass: the $100,000 Laurel Futurity, $100,000 Selima, $100,000 Laurel Turf Cup, and $75,000 April Run.