05/19/2011 12:50PM

Hollywood's Railbird next stop for rising star Pedaltothemedal


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Pedaltothemedal was well regarded last year at 2, when sore shins cut short her campaign. She started twice, won a maiden race, and was not overhyped.

Fast forward to 2011, and trainer Art Sherman does not hide enthusiasm for Pedaltothemedal, who is likely to start favored Saturday in the Grade 3, seven-furlong Railbird Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park. What about the hype? Bring it.

“I haven’t been this excited about a horse in a long time,” Sherman said. “I think she’s the real McCoy.”

It is easy to understand Sherman’s passion for Pedaltothemedal. Last summer, the daughter of Medallist was a one-dimensional speedball. When she returned April 24 in a first-level allowance sprint, she ran like a class act.

Pedaltothemedal pressed the early pace inside, took back and got shuffled all the way back to sixth, raced behind horses, then rallied four wide at the top of the lane and blew away the field.

“I was very impressed,” Sherman said. “It was a new dimension to see her come off the pace like she did. If you can rate a speed horse, you’re in the driver’s seat.”

Pedaltothemedal won by 1 1/2 lengths and has worked super since.

The Railbird lost a key participant in Miles Rules, recent winner of the Melair Stakes. Miles Rules had a case of colic and recovered, but she will skip the Railbird and point for the Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar on July 30.

Turbulent Descent, the country’s top 3-year-old filly sprinter, nominated to the Railbird but will wait for the Grade 1 Acorn on June 11 at Belmont. Finally, locally based Zazu, third in the Kentucky Oaks, runs June 25 in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks.

That leaves Pedaltothemedal as the likely Railbird favorite. Others may include Advantage Player, Alec’s Moon, Big Tiz, Hout Bay, May Day Rose, Orientatious, Spectacular Sky, and Warren’s Flyer.

The Railbird can be a prep race for the 1 1/16-mile Hollywood Oaks, which is the main goal for Big Tiz. Runner-up last fall in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet, Big Tiz skipped the winter-spring stakes to point for the second half of the year.

“We wanted to have a fresh 3-year-old filly rather than one that is used up,” trainer Mark Glatt said. “Hopefully, it will pay off.”

Big Tiz has won 1 of 7. In her comeback, she finished second behind Pedaltothemedal.