06/01/2013 2:05PM

Presque Isle Downs: Cloudy Vow cuts back in return from layoff


Cloudy Vow, who was good enough last fall to pick up small pieces of the purse in a pair of Grade 2 stakes in Kentucky, returns to the place where she began her racing career Tuesday evening at Presque Isle Downs.

The 3-year-old Cloudy Vow shifts from dirt to Presque Isle’s synthetic Tapeta surface and cuts back sharply in distance from 1 1/16 miles to 6 1/2 furlongs seeking her second victory in Tuesday’s fourth race, a nonwinners-of-two allowance with a $36,000 purse.

Cloudy Vow is part of an uncoupled entry for trainer Tim Hamm and will break from post 5 in a field of eight fillies and mares. She is proven over Tapeta, where she won her career debut going six furlongs last August. And she displayed class in her first two starts on dirt, finishing third in the Grade 2 Pocahontas and fourth in the Grade 2 Golden Rod, both at Churchill Downs.

The question is whether Cloudy Vow is ready to run her best race returning to a sprint following a five-month break since she finished second going 1 1/16 miles in a first-level optional $75,000 claimer at Gulfstream Park.

Statistically, Hamm does well with the horses he runs for owner Patricia Pavlish (6 for 24, 25 percent with a $3.51 return on investment). But Hamm’s numbers are weak with horses returning from an extended break while going from dirt to synthetic and routes to sprints – 1 for 15 (7 percent).

The field also includes the stakes-placed Wild About Irene and transplanted California filly Assure.

Wild About Irene, second going long on dirt in the Suncoast at Tampa Bay Downs in March, makes her second start on Tapeta and moves from a route to a sprint. Her lone win in nine career starts came going seven furlongs on dirt. Trainer Gerald Bennett is 3 for 18 (17 percent) with route-to-sprint moves on synthetic tracks the past two seasons.

Assure rallied from 10th to miss by a head in her Presque Isle debut May 12. She made the first eight starts of her career in California for owner-trainer Paula Capestro. Assure is still owned by Capestro, but Joe Martin is now the trainer of record. Martin, winning at a 28 percent clip at Presque Isle so far this meet, is only 2 for 19 (11 percent) with the Capestro-owned horses he has run locally.