10/18/2009 11:00PM

Pair headed in opposite directions


Prosperity Avenue and Love for Not, a pair of 4-year-old fillies whose careers began at opposite ends of racing's class ladder, cross paths for the first time in Monday's featured eighth race at Philadelphia Park, a third-level optional $40,000 claimer for fillies and mares going six furlongs.

Prosperity Avenue needed nine starts before she finally won a race, and that came after five tries against maiden claimers, the slowest group of horses at any racetrack.

In contrast, Love for Not was a two-time stakes winner as a 2-year-old, taking the Maryland Million Lassie as the 5-2 favorite at Laurel Park and the New Jersey Futurity at the Meadowlands.

The two fillies now seem headed in opposite directions.

Since finally earning her first career victory in February, Prosperity Avenue has won twice more, including an emphatic six-length score facing second-level optional $14,000 claimers at Penn National in July. She matched her career-best 82 Beyer Speed Figure from that race when she moved up to a third-level optional claimer at Philly Park on Oct. 3.

Prosperity Avenue will now be making her second start off an extended layoff, a category in which trainer Ed Lehman is 2 for 6 with allowance sprinters, producing a high $6.36 return on investment, according to DRF's Formulator.

In contrast, Love for Not has gone 0 for 9 in the nearly two years since her back-to-back stakes scores in 2007. Her best recent performance, a second in the restricted Eleven North at Monmouth Park in August, was good for an 82 Beyer that would put her in the thick of contention in Monday's race.

On the downside, New Jersey-based trainer Kevin Sleeter is 0 for 12 with horses he has run at Philly Park since 2004.

The seven-horse field also includes Bank'n on Gold, who has recorded all eight of her career victories at Philly Park. A 4-year-old from the barn of Scott Lake, who is in a tight battle for leading trainer at the meet with Ed Auwarter, Bank'n on Gold has been off since defeating $25,000 starter allowance rivals in August. Earlier this season, she came within a head of winning a fourth-level optional $50,000 claimer.

Bank'n on Gold must run for the $40,000 tag in this spot after clearing her third allowance condition last December.