05/24/2011 2:28PM

Hollywood Park: Subpoena the Dress goes long for first time


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A familiar dilemma recurs Thursday at Hollywood Park, where the right horse will race the wrong distance in the race 7 feature.

Veteran sprinter Subpoena the Dress stretches to a distance of ground for the first time in her career in a turf route for California-bred fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

“It’s my only concern, the route of ground,” trainer A.C. Avila admits.

The apprehension is understandable. Having won 6 of 21, Subpoena the Dress is the most accomplished in the field. But she has never raced beyond seven furlongs, nor won beyond six.

Avila said her recent workout offers hope she will get the distance.

“She worked a good seven furlongs, and she finished great,” he said.

Whether she reproduces her workout in a race is unknown. And despite the highest recent speed figures and suitable pedigree for 1 1/16 miles, bettors may recognize in Subpoena the Dress the same hurdle a counterpart could not overcome recently in a similar situation.

Dance with Gable was 11 for 30 in sprints and the most accomplished in a field of statebred colts and geldings when he stretched to a route for the first time April 29. He pressed the pace, made the lead in the stretch, and tired to sixth. Back sprinting next out, Dance with Gable crushed.

The hurdle is the same for Subpoena the Dress, a California-bred by Johannesburg out of a mare whose specialty was routes. Hail Hillary won six route races, including the $100,000 Maryland Million Ladies in 2003 and Maryland Million Lassie in 2004. Hail Hillary won 7 of 17 overall; Subpoena the Dress is her only named foal.

Chantal Sutherland, co-leader in turf wins at Hollywood with seven, rides Subpoena the Dress. The mare’s style is predictable on the stretch-out.

“I believe she’ll be close to the pace,” Avila said.

The turf rails are scheduled to be at a 20-foot setting Thursday. The only grass race this meet with the rails out that far was won by Sutherland on presser Temple’s Door.

If it turns out Subpoena the Dress is unable to stay the trip, like her male colleague Dance with Gable one month earlier, the race 7 feature is up for grabs.

Streamline Baby and Donner Wasser finished 2-3 last month in a similar spot; others include Mavicsa, Burton’s Angel, Reddy Go Jaylo, and Tribal Beauty.