02/24/2011 3:44PM

Extra distance should help Choragus in Wayward Lass at Tampa


OLDSMAR, Fla. – Choragus, whose strong stretch rallies have produced second- and third-place finishes in her first two local starts against stakes company in sprints, moves to a more comfortable distance Saturday, when she tops a field of 11 fillies and mares in the 1 1/16-mile, $50,000 Wayward Lass Stakes.

Leandro Goncalves will be aboard Choragus for trainer Tony Reinstedler as the 6-year-old mare seeks her sixth career win in the Wayward Lass.

Second in last year’s Wayward Lass, Choragus won 2 of 8 races last season, including the $100,000 Iowa Distaff Stakes going 1 1/16 miles at Prairie Meadows.

Brought out earlier this meeting in the six-furlong Minaret, the long-striding mare rallied from next to last, closing fast along the outside to wind up third, beaten a nose and a neck. She came back in the seven-furlong Manatee and again unleashed a strong stretch drive but couldn’t get to favored Hyperlink, winding up second, beaten just more than two lengths.

Ken McPeek, the trainer of Hyperlink, brings in another strong contenter for the Wayward Lass in Striking Dancer. Willie Martinez will ride.

Striking Dancer also won 2 of 8 outings last year, with one of those wins coming at Santa Anita in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes. She ralllied late to upset a strong field in that 1 1/8-mile route and later ran third in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill. She finished third in Calder’s Grade 3 Stage Door Betty Handicap in her 2011 debut.

Although unplaced against a tough group of optional claimers on the turf at Gulfstream last out, Striking Dancer has kept top company through most of her career and will no doubt garner plenty of support in the Wayward Lass.

C C’s Pal faded to eighth in her seasonal debut in the Manatee. It was her first start since October, and she should improve off that effort. C C’s Pal bounced back after the Manatee with a pair of solid works, including a best-of-67, four-furlong move in 47 seconds on Feb. 20.

Volare Cantare, from the Leigh Delacour barn, could be the most dangerous speed in the group. She comes off a solid third going 1 1/16 miles on the turf and has shown strong early speed in the past, leading into the stretch of the $100,000 OBS Champions Fillies Stakes before weakening to third behind Splendid Sound. Her lone win was a 12-length romp around two turns over Aqueduct’s inner track.