07/14/2010 6:32PM

Dr. Powers won't be 96-1 this time in Florence Henderson


Dr. Powers won the Florence Henderson at Indiana Downs in 2009 and will attempt to repeat when she faces a full field of 12 Tuesday evening. The $70,000 stakes, restricted to Indiana-bred fillies and mares, is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the turf and goes as race 7 on a 13-race card that begins at 4:55 p.m. Central.

The glaring difference this year may well be the mutual price. Dr. Powers led every step of the way in last year’s race in her first attempt over the turf and won by 1 3/4 lengths, paying $195 to win.

Dr. Powers has since proven that she relishes the turf, winning her last out June 18 going a mile on the Indiana turf course. She is now 2 for 3 on grass as compared with 3 for 23 on dirt, but trainer Dennis Cluley doesn’t see that as a sign his mare is a turf specialist.

“She just loves the lead. If she can get an easy lead she turns into a different horse.” said Cluley, whose horses are based at a training center near Mount Pleasant Meadows in Michigan.

Cluley points to Dr Powers’s win in a third-level statebred allowance on dirt in 2008 to support his theory.

“She got an easy lead then and won by 15 1/2 lengths,” Cluley said. “It is the easy lead, not so much the surface.”

Should Dr. Powers fail to get an easy lead, Amature’s Prize should be poised to pick up the pieces. Trained by Bobby Persad, the 6-year-old Amature’s Prize’s lone win on the turf came at Indiana Downs. She ran well on the turf in 2009 at Arlington Park, with a pair of thirds and a second in three attempts there. Amature’s Prize likes to come from just off the pace and the return to the Indiana-bred ranks should prove helpful.

Others with a chance include Demido, winner of the Shelby County two starts ago and runner up to Dr Powers in her last out; J W’s Last Dance, impressive winner of a statebred turf allowance in her last; and Classic Ramona, third in the Shelby County in her last. Linda’s Lace has been in the top three finishers in 8 of 11 lifetime turf starts and Trust N Seven is 6 for 13 on the grass.