12/03/2009 12:00AM

Fascinatin' Rhythm a runner


Fascinatin' Rhythm is clearly a filly who thrives on activity. In contrast to most modern-day stakes-caliber Thoroughbreds who are raced sparingly, Fascinatin' Rhythm will be making her second start in 11 days and racing for a third time in less than a month in Saturday's $50,000 Squan Song Stakes at Laurel Park.

The seven-furlong race, restricted to Maryland-bred fillies and mares, drew a field of 13.

Although she is winless in seven starts this year, including a nonthreatening fifth of seven in an overnight stakes at Philadelphia Park on Nov. 24, the 4-year-old Fascinatin' Rhythm's last two Beyer Speed Figures of 84 and 82 are the best recent numbers in the Squan Song field.

A year ago in this stakes, Fascinatin' Rhythm came back on two weeks' rest to miss by a head. Trained by Richard Small, Fascinatin' Rhythm was also good enough early this season to finish third in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at the same seven-furlong trip as the Squan Song.

Three of Fascinatin' Rhythm's rivals - Lucky You, Outside Lane, and Sterling Vow - have favorable angles working for them.

Lucky You, who finished 3 1/2 lengths behind Fascinatin' Rhythm in the 2008 Squan Song, was a dull fifth in her return from two months on the sidelines. But she now makes the second start of her form cycle for owner-trainer Charles Assimakopoulos. The last four times she has been in that situation, Lucky You has produced three wins and a second.

Outside Lane has been off for slightly more than a month and now takes a drop from open claiming company to face Maryland-breds. Her Philadelphia Park-based trainer, John Servis, shows a 9-for-20 record (45 percent) with a high $3.77 return on investment with fillies and mares returning in 31 to 60 days in races contested at 6 1/2 to seven furlongs, according to DRF's Formulator.

Sterling Vow comes back just 10 days after a mild rally to finish third against high-priced optional claimers. The last time she returned on similar short rest, Sterling Vow missed by a neck in a seven-furlong allowance at Charles Town. In addition, trainer Ron Sweeney shows a good 6-for-17 record and $2.41 ROI with fillies and mares coming back in 14 days or less.