06/27/2012 11:53AM

Monmouth: Sandy Key Gal won't have things so easy in Friday allowance

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OCEANPORT, N.J. – Sandy Key Gal employed an element of surprise in her front-running victory earlier this month at Monmouth Park. She won’t have that edge on Friday when she steps up in the $44,000 feature, a second-level $32,000 claimer for fillies and mares going five furlongs on the turf.

Sandy Key Gal started the season in a pair of one-mile races, finishing second at the Meadowlands before running seventh in Monmouth’s Little Silver Stakes. She perked up to win with a cutback to five furlongs in a first-level allowance. After some contact at the break, Sandy Key Gal sprung right to the front and rambled along on an uncontested lead through quick fractions of 21.43 and 43.51 with Angel Serpa aboard. Carole’s Love trimmed the final margin to a neck but Sandy Key Gal, a 3-year-old, earned her first win since December at Gulfstream Park.

“If you look back on her form, she showed some speed before that,” said trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. “Angel got her out of there really good. She might have caught them by surprise.”

After that success, it appears Sandy Key Gal has found a niche at five furlongs on the grass.

“I like the distance for her and she performed the way we had hoped,” Plesa said. “If she can follow up on that, we’ll be in good shape.”

Not unexpectedly, the competition is tougher at this level.

Trainer Tony Dutrow sends out the upcoupled pair of Madrilena and Caribbean Lady.

Madrilena, winner of two in a row, both at Parx Racing, switches back to grass where she has a second and a third in two tries.

Caribbean Lady will look to regroup after a seventh-place effort in an overnight stakes at Colonial Downs.

Sweet and Lowdown has two wins in three tries this year, all for owner-trainer Wesley Ward.

Revenue might appreciate the cutback in distance for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. She is 2 for 2 at five or 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass.

Wardelle, Cee the Country and Love Contract complete the field. Stockings was entered for the main track only.

Plesa also sends out Angel Dreams in a first-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares. This will be her first start since March at Gulfstream.

“We brought up her from Calder because there are more opportunities up here,” Plesa said. “She’s doing well. We’re hoping she can compete at this level.