02/11/2010 12:00AM

Former stablemates top contenders


Because last weekend's racing was wiped out by weather, Turfway Park will be offering twin $50,000 stakes Saturday.

The Likely Exchange Stakes, for fillies and mares, was among the races canceled last weekend, but it has been redrawn to join its male counterpart, the Dust Commander Stakes, on a 12-race card at the Florence, Ky., track. The co-features both go at a mile on Polytrack.

The Dust Commander looks like a matchup of current and former trainees from the barn of Al Stall Jr., who has shipped in Tend from his winter base at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Tend, owned by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm, figures to be favored over his former stablemate Flavor, who was claimed from Stall last fall for $30,000 and has since won 4 of 5 starts, most recently the Jan. 23 Forego Stakes at Turfway.

Stall noted Thursday from his Fair Grounds office that Tend is still eligible for fourth-level allowance conditions.

"That kind of race hasn't been going here," he said. "It seems like he might be a notch below the good handicap horses here, and he's won a race over the Turfway surface, so it seemed like a good idea to ship him back there."

Tend, a 5-year-old gelding by Dynaformer, is out of the Claiborne mare Liable, making him a half-brother to Blame, who ended his 2009 3-year-old campaign by winning the Grade 2 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs for Stall.

"Claiborne still has the mare, so every little bit you can add to their resumes never hurts," said Stall.

Tend won his career debut at Turfway in September 2007 and has three wins from 15 subsequent starts. In his last race, he finished sixth in the Grade 3 Col. Bradley Handicap over the Fair Grounds turf.

Stall, who also plans to run 3-year-old filly Seasoned in the Valdale Stakes next Saturday at Turfway, commended trainer Joe Woodard on the job he has done with Flavor. A

4-year-old Elusive Quality gelding, Flavor is in terrific form but has never raced beyond seven furlongs, a primary reason Tend probably will be favored Saturday.

Flavor and Tend drew posts 8 and 9. Eight others are entered in the Dust Commander, which goes as the ninth race.

The Likely Exchange (race 11) drew a field of 11, including many who had been set to run when it was carded last Saturday, along with a few additions.

Exotic Bloom, making what trainer Fred Seitz said is most likely her final start, will be trying to duplicate her win in the Dec. 5 My Charmer Stakes, the most recent filly-mare route stakes at Turfway. Exotic Bloom was assigned post 4 in what shapes up as a fairly deep cast.

Perhaps her top challenger is Danzon, a multiple graded winner, and Lady's Laughter looks like a sleeper for trainer Charlie Lopresti, who has gone 3 for 3 at the Turfway winter-spring meet.

Also, Unspoken Word, the defending champion in the Likely Exchange, returns as part of an uncoupled Mike Maker entry with Complicity.

First post Saturday is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.