01/10/2013 4:42PM

Fair Grounds: Starlite Starbrite will benefit if Pan Zareta comes off turf

Coady Photography
Starlite Starbright (inside), second by a nose to Salty Strike over a sloppy track in the the Prairie Rose. would move up if rain forces the Pan Zareta to be moved to the main track at Fair Grounds.

The famed Twin Spires of Churchill Downs hold no allure for 6-year-old Starlite Starbrite, but put her in sight of the old Jockey Club building that rises up beyond the quarter pole at Fair Grounds and the mare is in her element.

In her four starts at Churchill, where she was a non-factor when last seen Nov.  23 in the Dream Supreme Stakes, Starlite Starbrite has a second, two fifths, and a sixth, meaningful numbers for a horse who has finished worse than third only seven times in 22 starts. At Fair Grounds, Starlite Starbrite has 4 wins and 3 seconds from 7 starts on the main track.

The $75,000 Pan Zareta Stakes, the Saturday feature at Fair Grounds, is carded for about 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. A turf horse Starlite Starbrite is not but – conveniently for her – torrential rain that forced the cancellation of Thursday’s race card stands a great chance of moving Saturday’s turf races onto dirt.

Starlite Starbrite is one of 12 fillies and mares entered in the Pan Zareta, a number that will dwindle with a surface switch. The mare has made only 22 starts in four calendar years of racing, making her a low-mileage model for her age and leading one to suspect the poor Dream Supreme performance was but another Churchill-induced blip. Trainer Tom Amoss, who also entered turf-preferring Snow Kissed, has gotten four works into Starlite Starbrite since she returned to Fair Grounds. Leandro Goncalves has the mount, and figures to have forward position from post 2, and Starlite Starbrite probably prefers 5 1/2-furlong sprints to the standard three-quarters of a mile trip.

Seeking Ms Shelley and My My My Maria look like Starlite Starbrite’s primary dirt rivals. The 7-year-old Seeking Ms Shelley has shown little interest in her last couple grass starts, but she has two wins and a second on Fair Grounds dirt, and easily won a five-furlong dirt race at Delta in November. My My My Maria was claimed for just $7,500 on Nov.  1 at Churchill, and already has more than paid for herself. She won a starter-allowance for trainer Tim Glyshaw first off the claim, and was even better than that beating second-level optional $40,000 claimers Dec. 29 at Fair Grounds.

On grass, Palazzo Babe stands a reasonable chance of notching her third turf sprint of the meet. Her two recent wins came at the same class level; on Nov. 30, Palazzo Babe raced for a $62,500 claiming option, while on Dec. 19 she won under third-level allowance conditions. European import Djarvo has already been scratched twice this meet from off-the-turf races, and her luck does not appear to be getting any better this weekend.