06/29/2012 1:17PM

Fort Erie: Tree Lo a Rainbow Connection longshot despite good turf record


FORT ERIE, Ontario – Tree Lo, the only local entrant, owns by far the best record on grass among a field of eight Ontario-sired fillies and mares in Sunday’s $125,000 Rainbow Connection, a five-furlong turf stakes at Fort Erie.

The 8-year-old Tree Lo, trained by Gary Chudobiak , has won 5 of 11 starts and $49,317 on turf. Tree Lo is listed at 15-1 on the track’s morning line. She is stepping up sharply in class following a win over $5,000 starter allowance competition.

The only other Rainbow Connection runner to have won on grass is the 6-year-old Articulating, who won her career debut at Calder as a 2-year-old in December 2008.

Trained by Robert Geri, Articulating last tried the turf in last summer’s Rainbow Connection and finished a tiring fourth, less than two lengths behind the winner.

Dance to the Moon and Lucky Melissa have 0-for-3 and 0-for-2 records, respectively, on the turf.

Trained by Michael Doyle, Dance to the Moon finished fifth in the recent Zadracarta Stakes, a seven-furlong turf race at Woodbine in which she faced much better. The distance offered here will be her challenge but otherwise she looks like a win candidate.

Lucky Melissa’s two turf events came last season, when she finished sixth against second-level optional $62,500 claimers and ninth in the Zadracarta. She is 5 for 16 on Polytrack, including a win last time out for a $32,000 claiming tag.

Three of the four first-time turf runners have shown excellent speed on the Polytrack and their connections are hopeful that quickness can transfer to grass.

Tree Pose, a 4-year-old, has won 3 of 8 races, including the restricted Nandi Stakes at Woodbine. She usually gets the first call out of the gate and leaving from the 1-hole on Sunday could be to her advantage.

Anywhere, winner of Woodbine’s restricted six-furlong Ballade Stakes in her latest, has been favored in five of her six career starts and is the track’s 9-5 favorite for the Rainbow Connection. She has tactical speed on the Polytrack. Bob Tiller conditions the 4-year-old Anywhere, who will be dangerous if she takes to the turf.

The youngest entrant in the field is 3-year-old Miss Scarlett Road, trained by Sid Attard. She has already banked more than $100,000 while facing stakes and allowance company.

Aone Saucy Miss rounds out the field. A winner of three Polytrack races, she has posted three consecutive bullet workouts on dirt at Fort Erie since early May.