04/17/2008 12:00AM

Dixie Pipe seeks sixth win of meet


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Dixie Pipe has five wins at the meet, tying him for the winningest horse of the local season. He will shoot for victory No. 6 on Saturday when he tops a well matched field of nine optional claiming routers going in the feature race of the 12-race program. The mile and 40-yard race is written for second-level allowance horses and has a $32,000 claiming option.

Ronnie Allen Jr., who has been on a tear since returning from a four-year hiatus, has been named on Dixie Pipe by trainer Bruce Alexander at 119 pounds. A 4-year-old Kimberlite Pipe gelding, Dixie Pipe will be making his first start for Alexander after being claimed for $16,000 from his last win here on March 19. He is entered for the $32,000 tag on Saturday.

Dixie Pipe toiled with little success in his first three local outings. He came to life in his fourth start when paired with jockey Irwin Rosendo, rallying inside to win against restricted $10,000 claiming routers on Jan. 13. After a sixth-place finish, Dixie Pipe was dropped to $8,000 and responded with another late-running score, getting through along the rail for a three-quarter-length win. He won again for the same claiming tag and was claimed.

He returned for $12,500, and again came through along the inside in the stretch to win by 5 1/4 lengths. Most recently, he outgamed Volcanic Force to take a $16,000 claiming route by a head.

Deacon Dan, a winner here two races back when favored against allowance rivals, moves back to the main track after an unsuccessful turf try and tops the challengers to Dixie Pipe. Deacon Dan, a five-time winner in his career, chased the early leader two races back, and rallied in the drive to win going away. He hasn't been worse than third in any of his main-track efforts this season.

Bankers High Yield, who has finished second in his last three local outings, also deserves a long look.

An intriguing entrant is Shipwatch, who comes into this race off a head win over the turf against $25,000 claimers last time out in his first start for trainer Gerald Bennett.