Updated on 09/18/2011 2:35AM

De Francis Dash preview

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Saturday, November 25, 2006
Laurel Park - Race 10
Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes (Grade 1)
6 Furlongs
3-year-olds and upward
Purse $300,000

It will be interesting to see if THOR'S ECHO reacts negatively after pairing up Beyer tops in his last two races, but the Breeders' Cup Sprint winner really kicked away from his opponents in the last eighth at Churchill, and draws outside of traffic trouble here. The California speedster is certainly quick enough to gain a good forward position, and may simply be better than what he's facing in the De Francis. DIABOLICAL may be the speed of the speed breaking from the inside post, and he is a crack sprinter when allowed to see daylight in front of him early. He shows a string of bullet works leading up to this, and that allays fears of a "bounce" after that career-best 111 Beyer earned in the Gallant Bob Handicap at Philly. ATTILA'S STORM is another that is extremely quick from the gate, and he may be ready for a big effort in his third start off a long layoff. He was no match for Thor's Echo in the Breeders' Cup, however, and will probably feel lots of pace heat here. CRAFTY SCHEMER is a horse for course, and is another coming into this race off a big Beyer win. He shook loose that day, but it is unlikely that it will happen again with all the other speed entered in this spot. NIGHTMARE AFFAIR will get a sizzling pace to rally into, and the late-running gray always has a puncher's chance in that kind of a scenario.

Selections: 1. Thor's Echo 2. Diabolical 3. Attila's Storm