01/27/2011 4:49PM

Krantz figures to be a tougher spot for Avie's Tale

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Louis Hodges Jr.
Avie’s Tale wins the off-the-turf Blushing K D on Jan. 1 at Fair Grounds.

After Avie’s Tale scored a surprising off-the-turf win in the Jan. 1 Blushing K D Handicap – her first career dirt victory – trainer Josie Carroll said she’d noticed an immediate uptick in Avie’s Tale’s training after the mare arrived in New Orleans for the winter. Having conquered the Fair Grounds main track, Avie’s Tale will try for a turf stakes win in the $60,000 Marie Krantz Memorial Handicap on Saturday.

To get it, she may have to beat a mare from another Canadian outfit. Forest Uproar was a sharp allowance race winner Dec. 18 and showed stakes-class ability in 2009 before a long layoff set her back.

Avie’s Tale went 0 for 2010 and had won just once in 14 starts before scoring a decisive stalking victory over slop in the Blushing K D. She has worked twice since then and has three wins on turf compared to just the lone dirt victory. But the Blushing K D scratched down to just seven horses with the surface switch, and the Krantz – which, given the local forecast, figures to stay on turf – could prove a more challenging spot.

Forest Uproar was third in a trio of rich Woodbine turf stakes during summer 2009 before finishing eighth in a division in the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland that fall, Forest Uproar’s last race for 364 days. But suffice it to say, Forest Uproar roared back into action a year later at Keeneland. She won an entry-level turf allowance there by more than five lengths and was home by more than two beating second-level grass allowance foes last month at Fair Grounds. Perhaps her Fair Grounds stakes debut will go better for trainer Mark Frostad and owner-breeder Sam-Son Farm than did that of Red Strike, who faded to fourth as the 5-2 favorite in the Colonel Bradley Handicap on Saturday.

Also worthy of close consideration is Single Solution. Single Solution lagged well behind a slow pace in the Blushing K D and rallied solidly – if belatedly – for second behind Avie’s Tale. Single Solution’s late run is more effective on turf, and that may be especially true over the Fair Grounds course, which she has never tried.