03/11/2009 12:00AM

No lack of speed with these


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Four starter allowance races highlight Friday's Gulfstream Park card, with the most contentious one being a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies who have started for a claiming price of $40,000 or less.

Of the 11 entered, Miss Blakely is one of two horses who appear to be taking a drop in class. After winning a $25,000 maiden claiming race at Calder in December, Miss Blakely ran in two tough open allowance races, finishing fifth on Jan. 15 and third, beaten one length, on Feb. 14.

Joe Orseno, who trains Miss Blakely, said he didn't want his filly to be on the lead in that Feb. 14 race, but there was no other speed.

"If we can get her covered up, that would be more to her liking," Orseno said. "She's doing great. She really took to the turf. She's come down here and started to move forward a little bit. We tried her on the grass, she liked it. Hopefully she runs to that Smart Strike breeding."

There should be enough speed in this field so that Miss Blakely won't have to be on the lead. Princess Town won a $45,000 claiming race in front-running fashion, fending off Entertaining and Romin Robin, who are back in this spot. Princess Town should get some pressure from Bon Bon, a maiden who ran seventh in a stakes race last out.

Entertaining has a win and that narrow loss in two starts since being stretched out in distance and since being equipped with blinkers by trainer Phil Gleaves, who had high hopes for his filly at one time. Gleaves noted that Entertaining was involved in a training accident before she ever started, which may have delayed her development.

"It took her a while to get her confidence back after that," Gleaves said. "Her last few races she has gotten her confidence back. Her last race I was very pleased with."

Romin Robin had an extremely wide trip but closed very well when she finished a half-length behind Princess Town and Entertaining on Feb. 14. In her previous start, Romin Robin finished fourth after encountering early trouble.

Romin Robin will break from post 8 under Julien Leparoux.

Saldanha won a race similar to this going a mile on Feb. 21, but landed in post 10 in this spot. Cinque Bella finished third to Saldanha and is another who figures to be running late.