08/25/2011 1:39PM

Monmouth Park: Distance no issue for Sheppard pair in Omnibus Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Dyna Waltz will stretch out to 1 3/8 miles in Saturday's $75,000 Omnibus at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – The $75,000 Omnibus Stakes, the Saturday feature at Monmouth Park, is a rare opportunity for filly and mare turf runners to stretch out to 1 3/8 miles.

Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard believes the distance will benefit both of his uncoupled fillies in the race: Dyna Waltz and Dramatica.

Dyna Waltz, a homebred for George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stables, figures to be one of the favorites after finishing sixth, beaten only 2 1/2 lengths, in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga.

That was at 1 1/8 miles. The additional quarter mile, as well as the substantial class relief, makes her a key contender. Prior to the Diana, Dyna Waltz hit the board in three consecutive Grade 3 stakes at distances ranging from 1 1/16 to 1 3/8 miles.

“She’s training very well,” Sheppard said by phone from Saratoga. “She ran pretty well up here in the Diana, which was a very, very tough race. She’s pretty adaptable, anywhere from a mile and an eighth to a mile and three-eighths, she can be equally effective.”

Sheppard, along with everyone else involved at Monmouth this weekend, is keeping a close watch on the track of Hurricane Irene. He is hoping the storm’s impact hits after the Saturday card.

Should the Omnibus be rained off the turf, Dyna Waltz would be scratched, while Dramatica would carry on with the race reduced to 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

After an encouraging debut season in 2010 in which she went 3 for 4, Dramatica is winless in three tries this year as she decided to become a drop-back closer. Dramatica has fallen far off the pace in her three races this year. Sheppard hopes the expanded distance will play to her new style

“We realize we’re shooting a little high,” Sheppard said. “She seems to be kind of one paced this year, making her a useful filly in allowance company. We think the longer distance might be to her advantage, and it’s hard to find longer races that aren’t stakes, so we are taking a bit of a shot.”

Sheppard was hoping for better post positions for his two runners. Dyna Waltz has post 9, while Dramatica is alongside in post 10.

In a three-turn race, starting slots don’t mean as much.

“Going a long way, post positions are not that important,” Sheppard said.

Mike Luzzi rides Dyna Waltz; Channing Hill has the mount on Dramatica.

Tarrip also figures to be a factor for the team of trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Joe Bravo. She was third in this race last year. While only 2 for 11, Tarrip is a long-distance specialist. Her last eight races have ranged from 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 miles.

Tarrip most recently ran fifth in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay over 1 3/8 miles at Belmont Park on Memorial Day weekend.

◗ Visionaria heads the field in the $65,000 Junior Champion for 2-year-old fillies going one mile on the grass. This will be the U.S. debut for Visionaria who has already posted two wins and a second in three races in Italy. She will run on Lasix for the first time in her first start for Team Valor International and trainer Graham Motion.

Tippy Toes and Luna Storm are the only other winners in the nine-horse field.