05/12/2009 11:00PM

Kiss the Kid, Proudinsky face off in Dixie


BALTIMORE - Multiple graded stakes winners Kiss the Kid and Proudinsky head a deep field of 13 horses entered in the Grade 2, $150,000 Dixie Stakes, one of seven stakes on Saturday's Preakness Day undercard at Pimlico.

Kiss the Kid, trained by Amy Tarrant, has won 3 of his last 4 starts, including the Grade 3 Appleton Handicap and the Fort Lauderdale Handicap at Gulfstream Park this year. Kiss the Kid will break from post 4 under Eibar Coa.

Proudinsky, winner of the last two runnings of the Mervin Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds, wheels back in two weeks after running sixth to Einstein in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Derby Day. Proudinsky, the 124-pound highweight, will break from post 1. He is part of a coupled entry along with Musketier, who comes off a second-place finish in the Elkhorn at Keeneland on April 24.

The Dixie, run at 1 1/8 miles, will mark the seasonal debut of several prominent runners, including Strike a Deal and Lauro, who finished one-two in the Grade 3 Red Smith last November at Aqueduct.

Monba, who won the Grade 1 Blue Grass over Keeneland's Polytrack last year, makes his turf debut in the Dixie. Parading, runaway winner of the Ben Ali last month on Polytrack, returns to the turf for trainer Shug McGaughey.

The Dixie will be the third leg of a $1 million-guaranteed pick four. It is the race immediately preceding the Preakness.

At $150,000, the Allaire duPont Distaff equals the Dixie as the second-largest purse on the card. However, the race drew only seven entrants and two are cross-entered in the Shuvee at Belmont the same day. If Sea Chanter and Striking Tomisue run in the Shuvee, the horse to beat in the duPont may be Skylighter, who won the Grade 3 Indiana Oaks last fall. She finished fourth to Striking Tomisue in an allowance race this year.

The Grade 3, $100,000 Gallorette Handicap features the seasonal debut of Dynaforce, last year's winner of the Grade 1 Flower Bowl who ended her campaign with an eighth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Social Queen, third in the Beaugay at Belmont on May 2, and All Is Vanity, third in three consecutive stakes, are other top contenders in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

The Grade 3, $100,000 Hirsch Jacobs, for 3-year-olds at six furlongs, features Everyday Heroes, who has won all three of his starts for trainer Tim Ritchey. Everyday Heroes was entered in but scratched from the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct after showing signs of a respiratory infection the day before the race.

Taqarub, winner of the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes and the runner-up in the Bay Shore, is the top threat. Not for Silver is 3 for 3 in races at six furlongs or shorter and cuts back from a fifth-place finish in the Bay Shore.

Ready Set, who won the West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer last year, could be the horse to beat in a weak renewal of the Grade 3, $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap for older males. Ready Set wheels back just 10 days after finishing second in an allowance race in his seasonal debut.

Richard's Kid, winner of the John Campbell Stakes at Laurel, and Cave's Valley give the locals a decent shot.

In the Grade 3, $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap, Ah Day cuts back to six furlongs, a distance at which he has won 5 of 7 starts. He finished ninth in the nine-furlong Charles Town Classic last out.

Trainer Gary Contessa, who won this race last year with Starforaday, seeks a repeat with West Coast Flier, who comes out of the Vincent Moscarelli Handicap at Delaware Park on April 25. That race has already produced two next-out stakes winners.

In the $50,000 Woodlawn Stakes for 3-year-olds on turf, the Todd Pletcher-trained Affirmatif heads a 10-horse field.