02/27/2009 12:00AM

Frolic's Dream vulnerable chalk


LEXINGTON, Ky. - There are a number of reasons to like the chances of Frolic's Dream in Sunday's Grade 2 Davona Dale, a one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies at Gulfstream Park. But one potential weakness might outweigh them all.

Frolic's Dream has been consistent, winning 4 of 5 career starts. She holds a class edge with a victory in the Grade 2 Forward Gal in her most recent start. And her typical Beyer Speed Figure is higher than the usual number of all of her opponents. Based on those advantages, it would be no surprise to see her bet down to low odds.

The problem is that Frolic's Dream has never raced farther than seven furlongs, and neither of her performances at that distance suggests that she will enjoy the extra furlong she will be asked to cover in the Davona Dale.

In November, she owned a five-length lead with a furlong to go in the Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies at Calder but won that race by only 1 1/4 lengths. Although the chart states that she won handily, a look at the replay of that race shows that second-place finisher Trippi's Greatstar was gaining on her so rapidly that Frolic's Dream probably could not have held on to win at 7 1/2 furlongs, much less a mile.

The scenario in the Forward Gal was less extreme, but similar. Frolic's Dream was clear by five lengths in midstretch, then lost ground steadily during the final furlong and prevailed by 2 1/2 lengths. That was still a good performance since second-place finisher Renda was 10 lengths clear of the third filly in that field of six, but Renda probably would have caught her if they had been going a mile.

So whom do we use to try and beat Frolic's Dream?

Renda won consecutive stakes races last year. She scored by seven lengths in the one-mile Junior Champion at Monmouth, then won the mile and 70-yard Brave Raj at Calder. Draw a line through her loss in her turf debut in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, and including the Forward Gal she has run three straight strong races on the dirt. She's my selection.

Justwhistledixie won her last three races convincingly. She defeated maiden specials at Belmont, then won a pair of ungraded stakes at Aqueduct. She is unproven at the mile distance, but it is encouraging to see that she increased the size of the lead she owned in midstretch at the finish of each of those three shorter races, including her seven-furlong win.

C.S. Silk wasn't a threat while checking in fourth last time in the Forward Gal, but her second in the one-mile Grade 3 Delta Princess two races ago was a good performance.

Baldwin: Brother Keith tries turf

Sunday's feature at Santa Anita is the Grade 3 Baldwin, a 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds on the downhill turf course.

Brother Keith set the pace in the Grade 2 Robert Lewis, then tired and finished seventh in that 1 1/16-mile race. Cutting back to this sprint distance will help, and his 347 turf Tomlinson rating indicates that improvement is possible as he makes his first start on grass. I will make him my top selection, but the contention in this race goes deep, and if one of the other contenders is overlooked in the betting, that horse would become the betting value.

Dream of Kaylee was ambitiously placed when he debuted in the Grade 3 Kentucky stakes last year. He finished a solid third in that race, then defeated maidens at Oak Tree. He's better than his third-place finish against allowance company shows, and can win this race with a return to top form as he tries the grass.

Flashmans Papers won two straight races on the turf, then regressed on the move to Santa Anita's synthetic surface. Returning to the grass should make him a prime contender.

Dream Now was an impressive maiden winner at this distance on this course two races ago in his lone previous turf start. The surface switch will make him dangerous.

Preemo has improved in both of his starts since his debut, and graduated vs. maiden specials last time at Hollywood. He should continue to move forward with experience.

Luckiest Man should benefit from a surface switch. And Beauteous Maximus could be a factor in the exotics if he is asked to make better use of his tactical speed. Battle of Hastings will have to improve to make an impact.