04/12/2009 11:00PM

Libor Lady switches surfaces


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Mid-Atlantic trainers teaming with New York jockeys was a formula for success last Saturday at Keeneland. Maryland-based Dale Capuano gave a leg up to Javier Castellano before winning the Grade 3 Shakertown Stakes, and Michael Trombetta, another Maryland regular, rejoined Eibar Coa in the infield winner's circle following the Grade 2 Commonwealth Stakes.

The stakes aren't as high Wednesday, when a $67,000 allowance serves as the richest race of the afternoon, but the familiar Mid-Atlantic-New York connection surfaces again. Libor Lady, trained by Delaware-based Mike Pino, will be ridden by New York standout John Velazquez in the eighth of nine Wednesday races.

Libor Lady is one of seven fillies and mares entered in the six-furlong Polytrack race - and she, like all six of her opponents, is a stakes winner. She comes out of nine straight turf sprints, and observers of Polytrack trends know that turf specialists more than hold their own in synthetic racing.

Libor Lady, a 4-year-old filly owned by one of Pino's main clients, David Ross, accounted for an overnight stakes last September at Delaware Park and more recently had a useful tune-up on the Tampa Bay Downs turf in her seasonal debut. In all, she has won 5 of 15 starts, with seven more in-the-money finishes bolstering her record of consistency.

At least a couple of others rate solid chances, including Sly Storm, winner of the Franklin County Stakes here last fall. She will be ridden by Rene Douglas when making her first start in more than six months.

"It was time to give her a break," said trainer Tom Proctor. "She's been ready to run, doing good. We're just starting out for the summer. I think she looks pretty tough in there."

Rising Fever also looks strong, having won the Jan. 31 Manatee on the Tampa main track in her most recent start for trainer Christophe Clement. Garrett Gomez has the call.

Beautiful Venue, Adhrhythm, Sky Mom, and Peisinoe round out a well-matched cast.

The Wednesday card also includes a second-level allowance for 3-year-olds. No Inflation, the beaten favorite for Glen Hill and Proctor in the Rushaway Stakes, will be looking to rebound in the one-mile turf race.

The stakes schedule resumes with the $100,000 Appalachian on Thursday and the $100,000 Doubledogdare on Friday.