04/16/2009 12:00AM

Haitian and Prince of Belair drop in to win


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Haitian was a solid third to repeat winner Gesundheit in an allowance race on the turf last time out on March 21. He will drop into the claiming ranks for the first time at this meeting on Saturday when he tops a full field of 10 $50,000 claimers in the 1 1/16-mile turf feature.

Dean Butler will handle Haitian, a 5-year-old Petitionville gelding who is trained by Bernell Rhone.

Prince of Belair also drops back into the claiming ranks for his second start for the Dale Bennett stable. Prince of Belair finished second to Gesunhdheit in his first local outing here on March 3. J.J. Garcia will handle Prince of Belair, who makes his critical third start off a layoff.

Haitian was sent to the Rhone barn late in 2008 after racing for three different trainers during 2007 and 2008. He made his first outing for Rhone in February, closing from last in a mile maiden special weight route to finish third behind Be Bopping Wynn. Brought back in a 1 3/8-mile marathon, Haitian took over on the final turn and went on to post a 2 1/2-length win.

Last time out Haitiian had to break from the tough outside post in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race and finished third after challenging for the lead leaving the second turn.

Prince of Belair was off from November until March. In his comeback, he chased the early leaders before giving way to the late rally of Gesundheit. He finished sixth in an allowance on turf here on April 5.

Last season Prince of Belair raced at six different tracks, from Gulfstream to Arlington Park while racing for three different barns.

Be Boppin Wynn dueled for the lead to the final furlong in a similar $50,000 condition claiming route last time. He drifted wide into the stretch and faded to fourth. Two races back he overcame the tough outside post in a field of 10 to win a one-mile maiden special weight by two lengths.

Been a While looked very professional rallying from off the pace to post a 4 1/4-length tally over Hot Rod Tutt, a runner who came back to post an impressive win of his own in his next start.