06/23/2010 11:00PM

Jill Marie and Stormy Lypard clash


Jill Marie and Stormy Lypard are difficult to separate in a Lone Star Park allowance for 3-year-old fillies at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf that tops the Saturday card. Both used strong closing kicks to win over the local course in their last starts. Both have been facing stakes-quality rivals, and both hail from high-percentage barns.

Jill Marie might rate a slight edge as she has more racing experience than Stormy Lypard. She also can be closer to the pace. Jill Marie closed from next to last in winning an allowance in her last start May 8, but before that had won from just off the leaders in an allowance at Sam Houston.

"She shocked us by being so far out of it last time," said Karl Broberg, who trains Jill Marie. "Generally, she's in a stalking position, but it appears she's versatile."

Jill Marie's recent allowance win, over the eventual Grade 3-placed Fortunia, came at 7 1/2 furlongs, while Stormy Lypard will be shortening up from a one-mile allowance in which she defeated 3-year-old males June 6. Her trainer, Butch Marshall, is concerned the distance Saturday might be less than optimum for Stormy Lypard.

"I'm excited about the race but am wishing it was a mile and a sixteenth," he said. "She's going to come running."

Marshall said that with the right kind of performance Stormy Lypard could advance to stakes competition at either Saratoga or Del Mar. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 81 for her more-than-three-length win last time and before that was third to Shoot It's War -- the eventual runner-up in the $100,000 USA Stakes at Lone Star -- in another allowance against males May 16.

"I think this is really kind of a special filly," Marshall said.

Also on the card, Waylay, who is 6 for 6 on the main track at Lone Star, will make his first start since September.