05/05/2010 11:00PM

Graded horses have their flaws


Two horses with Grade 1 or Grade 2 stakes experience will ship to Philadelphia Park to face Pennsylvania-breds for the first time Saturday.

Not for Money, who was good enough to earn a 101 Beyer Speed Figure while beaten less than four lengths in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in 2008, and Best Lass, a filly whose three Grade 2 appearances since October included a fourth in the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs, are the morning-line favorites in the first two stakes of the season at Philly Park.

Not for Money, a 6-year-old who missed 22 months before returning to the races in March, heads a field of six older males in the $75,000 Lyman Handicap (race 9).

Best Lass, a 4-year-old based in Kentucky with trainer Ken McPeek, is among six fillies and mares in the $75,000 Foxy J.G (race 8). Both stakes will be contested by statebreds at seven furlongs on dirt.

Although Not for Money is listed at 8-5 on the track's morning line, his form is difficult to gauge. Running for an $80,000 claiming tag in his first start in nearly two years, Not for Money was last of six March 18 at Gulfstream Park. The 64 Beyer he earned represented a 48-point drop from the 112 he earned for his last race before his long layoff, a three-length win over third-level optional $75,000 claimers at Belmont Park.

Not for Money's chief challenger is Whistle Pig, a 6-year-old who won the 2008 Lyman and was third last year.

A 14-time winner, including two stakes on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs last year, Whistle Pig will be making his first start since November. Whistle Pig made his first start of 2009 and 2008 following long breaks. He failed to win both times, though he missed by a neck while third going six furlongs in April 2009.

In the Foxy J.G., Best Lass is the

2-1 choice on the morning line despite being 1 for 5 on dirt.

Her best performance on the surface came when she won last fall's Prairie Meadows Oaks at 1 1/16 miles. Most recently, Best Lass missed by a head going six furlongs on Polytrack at Keeneland.

Miss Blue Tye Dye, third in last year's Foxy J.G., poses the biggest threat to Best Lass. A 6-year-old trained by Butch Reid, Miss Blue Tye Dye won two restricted stakes last season, both routes. The last time she tried seven furlongs, Miss Blue Tye Dye was last, beaten 16 1/4 lengths, as the 8-5 favorite in a restricted stakes.

Reid also has Puddy de Luca, a 4-year-old who has three wins and a second in her four starts at Philly Park. Reid's horses will race uncoupled.