02/07/2009 12:00AM

Heart Ashley back in familiar spot


NEW ORLEANS - Heart Ashley was supposed to race in the Grade 2 Forward Gal on Jan. 30 at Gulfstream Park, but she had to scratch after the plane scheduled to take her to Florida couldn't land in New Orleans.

While not the stakes Heart Ashley's connections were aiming toward, she will face several quality fillies as she goes forward in Monday's fifth race at Fair Grounds, a first-level allowance for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs on the main track.

After a promising beginning to her career, with 2 seconds and a first from her 3 races, trainer Steve Asmussen entered Heart Ashley in the Forward Gal Stakes, an indication of the barn's estimation of her talent.

"We think a lot of her and we wanted her to go in the Forward Gal," said Scott Blasi, assistant to Asmussen. "We had her at the airport, and the plane couldn't land because of the fog."

After missing the race in Florida, Asmussen entered her in Monday's allowance, which comes at the same level and distance as her last race, a second-place effort here Dec. 27.

She will a meet a strong field of five others, most notably Bhangaloo Ruby, who turned in a strong performance while winning in her first attempt, going six furlongs in 1:10.88 here Jan. 16.

Bhangaloo Ruby didn't get to the races until turning 3, as her trainer, Larry Jones, gave her time to develop into her large frame.

"She was just so big," he said. "I had to let her bones get ready to pack all that weight around, that's why she was so long in getting to the races. She's a great big filly, so it's surprising to see her get six furlongs like she does."

The other horse of note is Greer Lynn, who has been entered main-track-only twice without getting a chance to race. Her last effort was impressive as she won her maiden going away at six furlongs on Dec. 18 over the main track.

The fifth race is the first of three allowance races on the card. In the sixth race, a fourth-level allowance for Louisiana-bred fillies, Bret Calhoun's Dancing Rebecca tries to make it 4 wins from 4 starts.