09/25/2009 11:00PM

Pace may be deciding factor


Rumor Control and Positive Prospect, a pair of fillies who have primarily campaigned on turf this season, could play prominent roles in a dirt sprint for fillies and mares that serves as the Tuesday feature at Philadelphia Park.

The 3-year-old filly Rumor Control, who has run well in Kentucky and New York, figures to be part of a contested battle for the early lead, which could provide an ideal setup for Positive Prospect in the six-furlong eighth race, a second-level allowance worth $47,000.

In each of her three starts since she was transferred from Todd Pletcher to Michael Maker, Rumor Control has been entered for turf. But when a first-level allowance at Belmont Park in July was moved to the main track, she won by six lengths.

A $320,000 purchase as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale, Rumor Control will be outfitted with blinkers for the first time. That's a 28 percent winning angle for Maker the past two seasons.

The presence of other front-runners, such as Florida shipper Elusive Appeal and five-time winner Coffee Creek Honey, could compromise the chances of Rumor Control, however. A swift pace would benefit Positive Prospect, a 4-year-old who was entered for turf in each of her first four starts this season by trainer Tony Dutrow.

Positive Prospect showed her versatility when she took a first-level optional $17,000 claimer on dirt at Delaware Park in late July and came back about a month later to just miss as the 9-5 favorite in a second-level optional $40,000 claimer at six furlongs on dirt.

Positive Prospect is owned by Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables, two of Dutrow's best clients. He has won with 9 of 26 starters (34 percent) owned by that partnership the past two seasons.

Elusive Appeal is intriguing and will be making her first start for the powerful Scott Lake stable after previously racing for the now-suspended Kirk Ziadie in Florida. The 3-year-old Elusive Appeal has been first or second in three of her last four starts with Beyer Speed Figures between 86 and 90 that stamp her a serious contender in this spot.