12/04/2003 12:00AM

Donnaree tepid choice in full-field My Charmer


FLORENCE, Ky. - It overflowed, then overflowed some more. Not only did the My Charmer Stakes draw 15 entries, of which only 12 can start, but also a few others who were nominated to the My Charmer will run instead in an earlier allowance race, making the Saturday card at Turfway Park a feast of filly-and-mare racing.

The $50,000 My Charmer, the 10th of 12 Saturday races, drew none of the so-called "name" horses that have been prominent in Kentucky this fall at the more prestigious meets at Keeneland or Churchill Downs. Nonetheless, the 1 1/16-mile race is good from a bettor's perspective, and, if nothing else, the pre-race handicapping figures to be entertaining, if not downright exasperating.

Donnaree, owned by Louisville businessman Jim Crutcher, might be the slightest of favorites. After going off form earlier this year, Donnaree has reached a career peak by winning four of her last six starts, including a tough Churchill allowance on Nov. 11. Jason Lumpkins has the mount for trainer Jim Morgan.

Affirmed Dancer, in from New York for trainer John Kimmel, is another contender, even though the 4-year-old filly has raced almost exclusively on grass. In her lone dirt try, Affirmed Dancer was a winner, and given an apparent edge in class, she figures to be highly competitive. Willie Martinez will ride.

Trainer Dale Romans, who dominated the Churchill meet and won the opening-day Holiday Inaugural last Sunday with Halory Leigh, has three starters in the My Charmer: Stonebridge Lady, Glitter Act, and Ravish Me. The best of them might be Glitter Act, a speedy 3-year-old who might well attempt to lead at every pole.

Yet another contender is My Trusty Cat, who has been mostly ineffective in recent months but who has faced the likes of Yell, Lead Story, and other graded-quality opponents during that span.

One race earlier, in a $28,500, one-mile ninth-race allowance that drew nine more fillies and mares, Golden Sonata, trained by Tommy Drury, figures to benefit from what amounts to a subtle drop in class when breaking from post 1 under Jeff Johnston.

The only other allowance (race 8) on the program also is for fillies and mares.

The My Charmer, inaugurated in 1980, is named for the Poker mare who produced the great Seattle Slew. Approximate post time is 5:15 p.m. Eastern.