05/18/2011 4:06PM

Pimlico: Rose Catherine back on turf in The Very One

Barbara D. Livingston
Rose Catherine will be hoping to get back on turf in Friday's The Very One Stakes at Pimlico.

BALTIMORE - Rose Catherine, one of the top female turf sprinters in the country last year, returns to the turf and takes on local grass sprint specialist Suzzona in the $75,000 The Very One Stakes, part of the Black-Eyed Susan undercard Friday at Pimlico.

Rose Catherine comes off a fourth-place finish in the Giant’s Causeway at Keeneland, a race that was moved from turf to Polytrack because of heavy rain. In her only other start this year, she was fourth when facing males like the top-class Bridgetown in a money allowance at Gulfstream.

The Very One, at five furlongs on turf, is restricted to females, a division Rose Catherine dominated on the East Coast last year. After taking up residence in the East following a winter in California, she won four straight grass sprint stakes in her division before finishing seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint against males.

Suzzona finished second in last year’s The Very One, and since then has won five turf sprints at four different tracks. She tuned up for this race with a victory against softer company at Atlantic City on May 3. Now 7, Suzzona has won 13 of 22 turf sprints and is 2 for 3 at Pimlico.
The Very One drew a field of 10, with Rose Catherine and Suzzona alongside one another in posts 6 and 7. Because of recent rain, there should be some give in the course.

The lightly raced Supreme was a sharp winner at Tampa against allowance company in her first start of the year, only her fourth start lifetime. She appears to be on an upswing.