09/22/2006 12:00AM

Marie P. DeBartolo Oaks preview

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Louisiana Downs - Race 8
Marie P. DeBartolo Oaks
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
3-year-old fillies
Purse $200,000.

It's hard to keep Todd Pletcher out of the winner's circle, and DANCING BAND seems well-spotted after chasing top turf distaffer Wait a While in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga. Dancing Band boasts improving Beyer Speed Figures, and has the tactical speed to sit a nice stalking trip in the hope of gaining first run on the speeds.
RICH FANTASY figures to be setting the pace along with longshot MISSGALLOPINGGULCH. The former took to grass like a duck to water in the Lyrique Handicap at Louisiana Downs as she scampered around the track in gate-to-wire fashion. Multiple stakes-winner Rich Fantasy should be in control of things on the final turn, and could prove tough to run down in the lane.
CHARMING N LOVABLE may have been a bit short following a brief freshening in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks, but now goes second off the layoff, and should get enough pace to run at late. It's hard to take a lightly-raced filly at a short price off the plane, however.
PALACE RUMOR raced wide every step of the way in the Grade 3 Pucker Up at Arlington, but she wouldn't settle early. She does better when she is covered up going into the first turn.
DYNA SLAM has won three straight on dirt, and her dam liked the turf. She has enough pedigree to win this, and could work out a classic pace-tracking, ground-saving trip under Bridgmohan.
BROWNIE POINTS was stymied by the lack of pace when the beaten favorite in the Lyrique, but she should get a better setup on Saturday, and figures tighter in the second start back. Note that she won her second lifetime start, and her Martha Washington win at Oaklawn came second off the bench.

Selections:
1. Dancing Band
2. Rich Fantasy
3. Charming N Lovable.