07/01/2010 12:00AM

Gunfighter rolls into Peppy Addy


Gunfighter, who has been dynamite since returning from a 3 1/2-month layoff, looks formidable against five other 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred rivals in Saturday's $75,000 Peppy Addy Stakes at Philadelphia Park.

The seven-furlong Peppy Addy (race 6) is the co-feature on a card that also includes the $75,000 Caught in the Rain (race 8), a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred fillies.

Based locally with trainer Tony Dutrow, Gunfighter went 0 for 3 to begin his career, with a high Beyer Speed Figure of 67. But after he was given a break from Jan. 23 to May 8, Gunfighter drew off to a three-length victory in a six-furlong maiden race, earning an 83 Beyer. He proved that performance was no fluke when he shipped to Monmouth Park three weeks later and dominated a field of first-level allowance runners, posting a 91 Beyer. He is the only two-time winner in Saturday's field.

Based on Beyers, Tujoes could give Gunfighter his stiffest challenge. He will be coming back 12 days after earning an 89 Beyer in a starter allowance sprint. Although he finished first, Tujoes was disqualified for drifting out in the stretch; otherwise, he would be 2 for 2.

One other possibility is Alex's Vision, a son of the highly successful young sire Afleet Alex. Best known for winning the 2005 Preakness after nearly falling in the stretch, Afleet Alex ranks second among sires whose first crop comprises 3-year-olds this year, with 48 winners, including six stakes, and $3.1 million in earnings.

Alex's Vision, owned and trained by Tim Ritchey, came from off the pace to easily defeat maidens two starts ago. Although he regressed 11 points on the Beyer scale in his first start against winners in the Danzig Stakes, Alex's Vision was gaining ground in the stretch of that six-furlong race and could appreciate the extra distance in the Peppy Addy.

The Caught in the Rain appears more wide-open, with no standout among the field of nine 3-year-old fillies. Two possibilities include Outlaw Dancer, who comes off a seven-length score over maidens at Penn National two weeks ago, and Ben's Boots, who makes her 3-year-old debut after just missing in last fall's Maryland Milliion Lassie at Laurel Park. Ben's Boots owns a win over the track and posted a best-of-38 four-furlong bullet at Saratoga's training track in 48 seconds Tuesday.