11/05/2011 12:04PM

Laurel: Tune Me In consistent as they come

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Lonely Whistle, a contender in Tuesday's turf feature, won three straight grass races at Laurel Park last season, including this second-level optional $25,000 claimer in September 2010.

Horseplayers always know what they’re going to get from Tune Me In. During a span of nine consecutive starts on Monmouth’s turf course, starting with his maiden win in June 2010 and continuing through his most recent outing on Sept. 11, the 4-year-old Tune Me In has posted Beyer Speed Figures in the narrow range of 82 to 87.

The only question is whether he can transfer that good turf form to Laurel Park against the stiffest competition he has ever faced in Tuesday’s feature, a third-level optional $32,000 claimer scheduled for one mile on the grass.

Tune Me In, trained by Bruce Alexander, has been given nearly two months off since posting back-to-back victories. He finally cleared his first allowance condition on his seventh try and then just got up by a neck in a second-level optional $35,000 claimer.

Three of his opponents in Tuesday’s eighth race – Lonely Whistle, Audacity of Hope, and London Lane – have posted recent Beyers in turf routes that are close to Tune Me In’s last two figures of 87 and 85. Par for the class at Laurel is 89.

Lonely Whistle, a winner of three straight turf races at Laurel in the late summer of 2010, returns to Maryland after finishing a close third in a first-level optional $25,000 claimer for New York-breds three weeks ago, earning an 82 Beyer. He carried 121 pounds that day, but gets in at 111 in this spot with a rider switch to apprentice Sarah Rook.

The British import Audacity of Hope finished second while making his United States debut in the 2010 Jersey Derby, then was laid off for a year. He was eased in his comeback on Tapeta but then ran well enough back on the turf at Monmouth Park to get an 84 Beyer at this same class level. Audacity of Hope now comes back two months later, and trainer Graham Motion is taking the blinkers off.

London Lane has been first or second in his last four starts, all on the turf. He is drawn wide in post 12, but would move in at least three spots with the defecion of three main-track-only entrants inside of him. London Lane was the beaten favorite at 8-5 at this same level and distance last time out, but his previous four Beyers were all between 82 and 88.