05/02/2007 11:00PM

Pimlico: Woodlawn a guessing game


Good turf form is scarce in the $80,000 Woodlawn Stakes, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds at Pimlico.

Five of the eight entrants have never raced on turf. The only two with wins on the surface are Starvinsky, who is 2 for 3 on grass after defeating high-priced claimers at Gulfstream Park and maidens at Tampa Bay Downs, and Encaustic, who cleared his first allowance condition with a modest 70 Beyer Figure a month ago at Laurel Park.

The intriguing pedigree play is Brahms Melody, who finished 2 1/4 lengths behind Encaustic while enduring traffic trouble last time out. Brahms Melody's sire, Brahms, won the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby and was third in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Brahms Melody comes back eight days after dumping his rider at the start of an off-the-turf race locally.