07/13/2013 2:27PM

Indiana Downs: Hurricane Girl steps up in class for her new barn


In her last seven starts, Hurricane Girl has three wins and a near-miss while running for a $40,000 claiming tag, so it’s clear that she fits well at that level. The question handicappers must answer in Tuesday’s $45,000 turf feature at Indiana Downs is whether Hurricane Girl can maintain that good form while stepping up substantially in class and changing barns for the third time since January.

The often-claimed 4-year-old Hurricane Girl is among the logical contenders among seven fillies and mares in a third-level allowance at a mile on grass. Hurricane Girl and main-track-only entrant Action Lady are entered for the optional claiming price of $75,000.

Hurricane Girl missed by a nose when she was claimed for $40,000 on June 23 at Churchill Downs. She goes from the high-percentage barn of Mike Maker to owner and trainer Jack Frost, who is 4 for 60 (7 percent) overall in 2013. Over the past five seasons, Frost is only 1 for 27 with horses making their first start for him within 30 days of a claim.

So, even though 3-1 second choice Hurricane Girl is one of only three horses in the field with multiple wins on turf, bettors may want to search for other options at a better price.

Proenza, 3 for 9 lifetime on turf, and Rare Event, 2 for 6 on grass, are the two most appealing alternatives.

The 5-year-old Proenza, based at Keeneland with trainer Mark Hubley, enters off back-to-back daylight allowance wins at Mountaineer. She improved from a 57 Beyer Speed Figure going seven furlongs May 27 to a 74 Beyer when she cleared her second allowance condition June 15. She may be less likely to bounce after being given a month to freshen up from that near-peak career performance.

Rare Event led through the first mile of a 1 3/8-mile overnight stakes at Churchill in mid-May. The last time she hit the board on grass came in the second of back-to-back victories at Ellis Park last August.

The connections of the remaining four horses are probably hoping the race gets moved to the main track. Two have never run on turf, and the other two are a combined 1 for 19 on grass.

On dirt, the advantage would swing to Sterling Madame, whose four wins on the main track include the 2012 Wild Rose Stakes at Prairie Meadows with a 99 Beyer.