03/14/2006 12:00AM

'Kelly' gets comeback started


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Four of the six starters in Thursday's $46,000 allowance race at Gulfstream Park are graded-stakes winners, including Kelly's Landing, who returns from a seven-month layoff in the six-furlong dash.

has not started since suffering a chip in his left knee during Saratoga's Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 13, when he finished sixth as the 5-2 favorite. In his previous outing, Kelly's Landing stamped himself as one of the top members of his division when he beat Battle Won and set a course record of 1:07.40 in winning the Grade 3 Aristides Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs.

"We did surgery to have the chip removed and gave him plenty of time to recuperate after the Vanderbilt," said Eddie Kenneally, who trains Kelly's Landing for Summerplace Farm. "He's trained great this winter, and he's ready to run. He's as fit as we can get from workouts alone, and while I don't expect him to run his best race Thursday, I do expect him to run well."

A 5-year-old son of Patton, Kelly's Landing has posted four consecutive bullet works at Palm Meadows in preparation for his return, including five furlongs in 1:00.40, the best of 24 drills recorded at the distance on the March 10 tab.

Edgar Prado will ride Kelly's Landing for the first time Thursday.

Twilight Road, Fire Slam, and Tour of the Cat are all graded-stakes winners looking to recapture their old form.

has not started since July 4 but has trained well for his return at Calder. A 9-year-old, he won the Grade 3 Memorial Day Handicap at Calder for his lone win in five starts last year.

was winless in three starts last year after posting four stakes victories in 2004, including the Grade 3 Lecomte going a mile at the Fair Grounds.

Tour of the Cat returned from a 17-month layoff to finish seventh under a $200,000 claiming tag here last month. He has made only seven starts since finishing eighth in the 2004 Dubai Golden Shaheen Stakes.

Gregson and Pisgah are the only non-stakes winners in the field, but they have the best recent form and should not be taken lightly. Gregson finished second after opening a three-length lead at midstretch in a $50,000 claiming dash on Jan. 19, and Pisgah rebounded from a couple of poor efforts and early trouble to win a five-furlong allowance race on the turf Feb. 19.