07/15/2008 11:00PM

Pa.-bred rivals stretch out, try turf


Balian and Terriffico have become prominent among the 3-year-old division of Pennsylvania-breds, with the former winning the Danzig Stakes in May and the latter narrowly missing last month in the Lil E. Tee Handicap.

But when they meet Friday night among a field of 11 in the $75,000 Lyphard Stakes at Penn National Race Course, the dynamics will change from prior meetings. Balian and Terriffico have been sprinting on dirt or synthetic surfaces, but now they will clash at a mile on the turf in the Lyphard, one of three stakes on a nine-race Friday program at the Grantville, Pa., track. Also on tap are the $75,000 Dear Jane and the $55,000 Day Lily.

The Lyphard presents some fascinating handicapping, with Balian and Terriffico, both in good form, being challenged by others in similar form. El Churruca, in particular, has improved dramatically in recent starts and will be making his stakes debut after finishing first or second in each of his last five starts.

Other notable starters in the Lyphard include Pensylvaniaexpress, a close-up third in the Lil E. Tee, and Granardi, an impressive two-back allowance winner at Philadelphia Park.

The Dear Jane is the sister race to the Lyphard, being a one-mile turf race for statebred 3-year-old fillies. The handicapping issue of a new distance and surface also will be at the forefront of this race, as Extra Sexy Psychic, a dominant winner of a sprint stakes over the synthetic surface at Presque Isle Downs in her last start, appears to be the filly to beat for trainer Mike Trombetta. Extra Sexy Psychic will be making her first start beyond 6 1/2 furlongs and her turf debut.

Other logical players in the Dear Jane are Coastal Solace, a back-to-back winner of recent allowance races at Philadelphia Park, and Glitzen Glory, the runner-up to Extra Sexy Psychic in the June 18 Cozy Lace at Presque Isle. A field of nine is entered.

The Day Lily, for fillies and mares at six furlongs on the main track, drew a tough bunch, with Circuit Breaker and My Sister Sue likely to rank among the favorites in a field of nine. Both are 5-year-old mares entered off three straight second-place finishes.

First post Friday is 6:45 p.m. Eastern. The Dear Jane is the opener, while the Lyphard is carded as the fourth (post 7:58) and the Day Lily is the fifth (8:23).