05/18/2011 4:09PM

Pimlico: No clear-cut favorite in Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Heros Reward will be making his fifth consecutive start in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes.

BALTIMORE - Course condition figures to be a huge key for Friday’s $75,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes, which drew an inscrutable field of 14, but one that likely be reduced sharply by scratches. Scott Lake has already scratched his pair of Ju Jitsu Jax and Rusty Charlie out of the five-furlong turf race.

A wet week figures to have the turf course in good to yielding condition come Friday, and that figures to impact the field.
Heros Reward makes his fifth consecutive start in this race, having won it in 2007 and 2008, while running fifth in 2009 and third last year. The 9-year-old gelding is winless in his last nine starts. He is trained by Dale Capuano.

Blue Sailor, a 7-year-old, makes his fourth consecutive start in this race. He finished fifth as the favorite last year, but second in 2009 and will likely try to wire this field under Rosie Napravnik. Blue Sailor came off a 10-month layoff to get beat a neck by Perfect Officer in the Dream Big Stakes at Atlantic City 17 days ago.

Havelock and Bergerac finished one-two in a second-level allowance race at Keeneland last out. Darrin Miller, the trainer of Havelock, said he liked the way his horse won last time but would be concerned about running over soft turf.
Southern Region won a second-level allowance race in January over a yielding Fair Grounds turf course before finishing fourth in a stakes at Fair Grounds in February. He wheels back after finishing fourth in the Turf Sprint at Churchill on Derby Day. Robby Albarado rides for trainer Ronny Werner.

If the race is moved to the dirt, Immortal Eyes and Ben’s Cat figure to move up.