07/28/2010 12:44PM

Love Ridge looks strong in Roanoke

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Love Ridge has spent most of her career running for a claiming tag, but her recent Beyer Speed Figures and early speed hint she may be capable of becoming a stakes winner when she drops from racing against older horses in open company to fellow 3-year-old Pennsylvania-bred fillies in Friday’s $75,000 Roanoke Stakes at Philadelphia Park.

The six-furlong Roanoke drew a field of six and goes as race 8 on a nine-race twilight card that begins at 4 p.m. Eastern.

Claimed out of her career debut for $12,500 last October, Love Ridge was brought back two weeks later in a restricted stakes in her first start for trainer Dee Curry. Love Ridge led for the first six furlongs of that race, before fading in deep stretch. It took Love Ridge three tries this season to win her maiden for a $12,500 tag. In seven subsequent starts, she has been worse than third only once. Two starts ago, the front-running Love Ridge dominated $10,000 conditioned claimers, earning a 72 Beyer that is easily the best in Friday’s field. She regressed to a 58 while finishing second against $12,500 starter allowance company last time out, but even that number compares favorably to the recent Beyers posted by Lovabull Me, the 9-5 favorite on the track’s morning line.

Lovabull Me, a deep closer who has run second six times in 16 lifetime starts, has recorded four straight Beyers in the narrow range of 55 to 58. She was most recently second in the seven-furlong Caught in the Rain Stakes on July 3. The filly who beat her by 4 3/4 lengths that day, Outlaw Dancer, returned to win an allowance against open company at Penn National on July 23, earning a 77 Beyer.

Hygh Jacque moves up to face stakes company after leading wire to wire in a maiden race at Penn National on July 6. Although her trainer, Mike Salvaggio, wins at a 17 percent clip with horses who won last time out, he is just 4 for 31 with those seeking two in a row following a maiden victory, according to DRF’s Formulator.

Majestic Michelle responded to the switch from turf to dirt and the addition of Lasix to win her maiden in her second career start July 4. Her trainer, Juan Carlos Guerrero, wins at 41 percent rate with all returning winners, but is only 2 for 11 with recent maiden winners.