10/22/2011 10:15AM

Laurel Park: Hobo Ridge seeks breakthrough in turf allowance

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Powder Mountain, shown winning at Laurel Park in October 2009, is among the top contenders in Tuesday's allowance feaature on the turf.

Hobo Ridge, Powder Mountain, and Favorite Hour – all of whom have run well in preliminary level allowances on the turf this season – will try to clear their first allowance condition in Tuesday’s featured seventh race going 1 1/16 miles on the grass at Laurel Park.

Of the trio, Hobo Ridge may be the best bet to break through while making his 11th start at this class level.

Three starts ago, the 4-year-old Hobo Ridge rallied from sixth to finish second, beaten just two lengths, against similar allowance competition at Monmouth Park. He followed up by coming from eighth, 10 lengths behind the leader, to get third, 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner, going the same 1 1/16 miles he will be asked to run Tuesday. Both of the winning horses from those two Monmouth races came back to win again, earning Beyer Speed Figures of 92 and 87, which indicates Hobo Ridge was in against tough company.

Most recently, Hobo Ridge was a distant third in an off-the-turf route at Delaware Park.

In a positive sign, Hobo Ridge’s trainer, Leigh Delacour, shows a 3-for-9 record with horses making the second start of their form cycle while switching from dirt to turf.

Powder Mountain, who has been trying to clear his first allowance condition since June 2009, came close a year later when he missed by a neck going a mile at Colonial Downs and gave another good effort this past June when third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in another mile race at Colonial. The 5-year-old Powder Mountain won a conditioned $30,000 claimer on July 24 and has been idle since finishing third in a restricted stakes six days later.

Powder Mountain’s trainer, Rodney Jenkins, is 9 for 31 (29 percent) with a $4.71 return on investment with turf runners coming back after a break of 61 to 180 days.

The 3-year-old Favorite Hour is just 1 for 10 overall, but he was sharp last time out, finishing just three-quarters of a length behind as the runner-up at this same level on Oct. 10. On the down side, trainer Mike Trombetta is 0 for his last 15 with turf runners who finished in the money last time out coming back in 15 days or less.

The field also includes Octoraro, who steps up in class after rallying to get up by a nose at 55-1 odds two weeks ago.