05/15/2013 12:09PM

Pimlico: Sensible Lady will be far shorter price going for The Very One repeat

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Sensible Lady upset last year’s the The Very One Stakes on the Black-Eyed Susan/Pimlico Special undercard, and it was no small feat as she was a 3-year-old beating older opponents. Sensible Lady is back to defend her The Very One title Friday at Pimlico, and one thing seems sure: She will be a fraction of the 24-1 she was in this race last year.

The $100,000 The Very One, at five furlongs on the turf, proved a highly popular offering. It attracted 16 entries, including two also eligibles. The Very One goes as the 11th race on Friday’s 13-race program.

The 2012 The Very One Stakes proved to be the start of something good for Sensible Lady. She later won three straight turf sprint stakes over the summer, all with a potent late kick, culminating with an impressive going away score in the Coronation Cup at Saratoga. And she closed her 3-year-old campaign with a pair of solid thirds in two other turf sprint stakes.

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Sensible Lady recently returned from a six-month layoff to finish fourth in the Giant’s Causeway at Keeneland. The Tim Salzman-trained Sensible Lady had a less than perfect trip in her comeback, and faded late after making a wide move into the stretch. But with the benefit of that outing, Sensible Lady is poised to take a big step forward Friday.

She will have to in order to win. Sweet Cassiopeia, the winner of the Giant’s Causeway, is also in this race and will take a lot of beating as the probable favorite. The Giant’s Causeway was Sweet Cassiopeia’s fifth straight victory, and sixth score from her last seven starts. Notably, Sweet Cassiopeia’s last three victories came in turf sprints, and the Beyer Figures of 93, 92, and 94 she earned in those turf wins were the three best of her career.

Nechez Dawn is interesting at what should be a good price. She gave way on the longer downhill course most recently at Santa Anita, but was previously 4 for 5 in shorter turf sprints like this one.