09/16/2009 11:00PM

Distaff a rubber match for pair


Miss Blue Tye Dye and Coastal Solace, who split two decisions going two turns earlier this season at Penn National, switch to a seven-furlong sprint when they are rematched in Saturday's $250,000 PHBA Distaff at Philadelphia Park.

The Distaff, which goes as race 9 on a 12-race card that begins at 12:25 p.m. Eastern, is one of four stakes for statebreds on Pennsylvania's Day at the Races. The program is topped by the $250,000 Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horseman's Association President's Cup, an open race at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

The 4-year-old Coastal Solace, trained and partially owned by Steve Klesaris, beat Miss Blue Tye Dye by 3 1/2 lengths when they met in the 1 1/16-mile Robellino on May 29. Six weeks later, the 5-year-old Miss Blue Tye Dye, trained by Butch Reid, romped by 11 3/4 lengths in the 1 1/16-mile Ligature.

Both horses have raced just one time at seven furlongs. Miss Blue Tye Dye, first or second in 10 of 14 starts locally, won the 2008 Northern Fling in her only try going seven furlongs. Coastal Solace responded to the new distance by posting a career-best 88 Beyer Speed Figure last time out in a two-turn seven-furlong stakes at Charles Town.

The other intriguing starter who could play spoiler to the two logical favorites is lightly raced 4-year-old Jemilyn. She paired up 85 Beyers in her two most recent starts, but has yet to race beyond six furlongs in four career races.

In the other races for Pennsylvania-breds:

* Delaware River will likely be a big price when he seeks a three-peat in the $125,000 Smarty Jones Classic at 1 1/16 miles (race 7).

Although Delaware River was even money when he scored by 2 1/2 lengths in the 2007 running and 2-1 when he dominated by 8 3/4 lengths last year, he has lost 11 straight since then, including seven this year, and seems badly off form. He's listed at 12-1 on the track's morning line.

Disco T, third in last year's Smarty Jones as the 7-5 favorite, and Serene Harbor, who won the 1 1/16-mile Nepal at Penn National in May with a 99 Beyer and finished third in this race two years ago, are likely to vie for favoritism.

* Always for Love, 4 for 7 on Philly Park's turf course and second in this race last year, beaten only one length, looks like a standout in the $100,000 Mrs. Penny at 1 1/16 miles on the turf (race 6).

* El Churruca, who has posted Beyers between 88 and 94 in his last five starts, and Mathewlovestoparty, second by a nose in this race last year, are the prime contenders in the $100,000 Mr. Jenny Handicap at five furlongs on turf (race 8).