06/09/2011 10:51AM

Parx Racing: Miss Preakness top three get rematch in Jostle

Tom Keyser
R Holiday Mood wins the Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.

A mere length separated the first three finishers in the Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness eve, which adds to the appeal of a rematch involving R Holiday Mood, Strike the Moon, and Bold Affair in Saturday’s $200,000 Jostle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Parx Racing.

Based on Beyer Speed Figures, however, recent maiden winner Ms. Crusen’ or former maiden-claimer Amylimehouse could play the spoiler’s role in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint.

Ms. Cruisen’, who dramatically improved when she returned after four months on the sidelines, and Amylimehouse, who stepped up in class and wired eight rivals first time off a $25,000 claim, boast the two best last-race Beyers in the eight-horse Jostle lineup.

Locally based with trainer Michael Aro, Ms. Cruisen’ earned an 85 Beyer for her 14 1/2-length romp in a maiden special weight sprint not quite a month ago.That represented a 19-point improvement from her second-place finish in early January and a 74-point rise from the 11 she got for her sixth-place finish against $40,000 maiden claimers in her career debut last October.

Of the four fillies who have run back since Ms. Cruisen’s May 14 sprint win, the only winner was the last-place finisher, It’s My Turn, who got a 66 Beyer for a turf win June 4.

Amylimehouse, who ran for a $25,000 tag in her first two starts in Florida, was claimed out of an 8 1/4-length score at Gulfstream Park by trainer Jason Servis. She responded to the rise in class to a first-level optional $50,000 claimer with a 2 1/4-length score that was worth an 83 Beyer.

Amylimehouse and Honey Chile, third in the seven-furlong, Grade 3 Eight Belles at Churchill Downs, are cross-entered in Saturday’s $75,000 Just Smashing Stakes at Monmouth Park.

In comparison to Amylimehouse’s most recent speed figure, R Holiday Mood received a 77 Beyer for her neck victory over Strike the Moon in the Miss Preakness. Bold Affair was a length behind the top pair, while losing for the first time in three career starts.

Considering the profile of how Pimlico’s main track played May 20, Strike the Moon and Bold Affair are candidates to turn the tables on R Holiday Mood. Horses who were first or second at the first call dominated the sprints on the Black-Eyed Susan card, meaning that Strike the Moon raced extremely well to make up nearly 5 3/4 lengths in deep stretch and Bold Affair did a decent job of maintaining her position while racing in third throughout the six-furlong Miss Preakness.

The X factor in Saturday’s race is After Later, who easily won her career debut last summer at Monmouth Park and then went to the sidelines after finishing last in the Grade 1 Frizette in October. After Later shows a pair of bullet workouts for her comeback. Her trainer, Patrick Biancone, is 3 for 5 with dirt sprinters returning from breaks of more than 180 days.