10/29/2011 12:39PM

Laurel: Weight shifts in Cardashi's favor for sprint feature


A key shift in the weights may help one old-timer turn the tables on another when Cardashi and Prince Noir clash for the third time within the past six weeks in Tuesday’s featured seventh race at Laurel Park.

A group of 13 older sprinters, including two entered for the main track only, are lined up for a second-level optional $25,000 claimer scheduled for 5 1/2 furlongs on turf.

The 7-year-old Prince Noir, based at the Bowie Training Center with trainer Gaston Santoval, finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of the Penn National-based 9-year-old Cardashi each of the last two times they met, both at the same distance and roughly the same class level as Tuesday’s race. For the rematch, however, Prince Noir must carry 122 pounds, a four-pound shift in favor of Cardashi.

In another subtle change, trainer Tim Kreiser is reuniting Cardashi with jockey Alfredo Rodriguez. In two starts with Rodriguez aboard at Penn National this past summer, Cardashi captured a $25,000 claimer and came within a neck of upsetting the turf star Ben’s Cat in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Handicap.

Both Prince Noir, 4 for 24 lifetime in turf sprints, and Cardashi, 6 for 19 in turf sprints, are entered for the optional $25,000 claiming price.

The other horse who looks dangerous if the race remains on turf is Tobes the Man, a 4-year-old from the high-percentage barn of Gary Capuano. After two mediocre performances on dirt, Tobes the Man returns to turf, where he has been no worse than second in 4 of 8 starts, including his most recent grass outing in mid-July. In that race, against second-level allowance sprinters, Tobes the Man rallied to miss by a head, but was elevated to first when the winner, No Suitcases, was disqualified for interference against the third-place finisher, McCarty.

McCarty, who has two wins and a pair of seconds since he was claimed last November, is also in Tuesday’s field.

If the snow which pelted the East Coast on Saturday doesn’t melt sufficiently by Tuesday, a shift to the main track would benefit Love’s Strong Hart, a 10-year-old with 12 lifetime victories, all on dirt. Distance is the only question for Love’s Strong Hart, who has only gone beyond 4 1/2 furlongs once since November 2008, finishing far back in the January 2010 Fire Plug.

Map of the World would also move up on dirt, especially if there is moisture in the track. The 5-year-old Map of the World is 3 for 3 on wet surfaces, including a win last time out in a $7,500 starter allowance that was taken off the turf.