04/25/2008 11:00PM

Look outside to find top turf threats


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - They can't all be stakes horses. With the barrage of major races coming up later this week at Churchill Downs, it's only reasonable to assume that racing on the days leading up to the Kentucky Oaks and Derby may be a bit lacking.

As such, the Churchill racing office could have done far worse than what is being offered for Tuesday. A 10-race card includes back-to-back allowance races, plus a starter-allowance to start the day and a tough maiden-special race to end it.

The richest race also happens to be one of the deepest and most competitive of the day. It occupies the race 9 feature slot, and with a $56,400 purse, a field of nine fillies and mares, not including one main-track-only entrant, are scheduled to travel 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Several fillies drawn toward the outside of the starting gate - Ballymore Lady, Winter Fashion, and Block - all look capable of pulling this off.

Ballymore Lady, trained by Eddie Kenneally, enters off a nice runner-up finish in a similar spot in a recent turf allowance at Keeneland.

Winter Fashion, a French import making her North American and seasonal debut for trainer Graham Motion, will be treated with the bleeder medication Lasix for the first time after posting a series of sharp workouts at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland.

Block, a two-back winner on the Fair Grounds turf, enters off a respectable fourth-place finish in the Jersey Lily Stakes earlier this month in Texas for trainer Al Stall Jr.

The feature is directly preceded by a second-level allowance sprint in which Zulu Magic, who scratched from the Derby Trial here Saturday, figures as a solid favorite to remain unbeaten in three starts after opening his career with a maiden victory at Hawthorne and an allowance score at Fair Grounds. Five other 3-year-olds oppose him.

Laudable looks very much like the horse to beat in the opener, while the finale, which offers the new Super High-Five wagering, drew a full and solid cast of maiden fillies.

This is the only Tuesday card of the meet. The date effectively makes up for the Sunday after Derby, when cleanup efforts make it impossible to host live racing.

Post time Tuesday through Thursday is 12:45 p.m. Eastern.