06/18/2009 11:00PM

Dubious Miss faces solid competition


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The two best races on a 10-race Sunday program at Churchill Downs are for the old dudes. No telling whether that's a way of paying tribute to Father's Day, but whatever the case, a couple of pretty nice allowances are on tap.

The more lucrative one, a $61,500 classified allowance, is carded as the fifth race, while the other, a $55,300 third-level allowance, occupies the customary race-nine slot. Both are scheduled for 1 1/16 miles, with the first on dirt and the second on turf.

Dubious Miss, who was considered for the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap last weekend but ultimately was withdrawn after the race came up too tough, appears to be the horse to beat in the fifth race, when he will make the third start in his form cycle following a layoff of more than nine months

Dubious Miss, already a five-time winner on the Kentucky circuit, was inadvertently named in a curious manner by owner David Holloway. He is not a she, but rather, he is named for a failed opportunity, as in "a swing and a miss."

Dubious Miss will be ridden by Calvin Borel, starting from the outside post in a field of six.

The opposition for Dubious Miss looks fairly solid. All have won stakes except one, Glenwood Canyon, and he comes off impressive back-to-back victories, including an entry-level allowance score on the May 2 Kentucky Derby undercard.

In the ninth race, Artic Cry will be looking to rebound off a subpar effort in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup at Woodbine when he breaks from post 4 under Corey Lanerie in a field of eight.

"He came out of that race in Canada with a bit of a lung infection, which may account for his performance," said trainer Eddie Kenneally. "Since then, he's been doing as well as ever. He prefers a firm turf. Overseas, he was a mediocre horse on soft going, but he's improved dramatically since he was shipped over here."

Desert Wheat, Broad River, and the Dale Romans duo of Hyracotherium and Gaelic River appear to be the main rivals.

First post is 12:45 p.m. Eastern. After Sunday, Churchill goes dark for three days before live action resumes Thursday. The second of three night-racing programs at the spring meet is set for Friday and the Debutante Stakes for Saturday.