09/29/2011 12:58PM

Presque Isle Downs meet concludes with three stakes

Four Footed Fotos
Check the Label is well-spotted to win her first race of the year at Presque Isle on Saturday.

Three competitive stakes highlight Saturday’s 10-race, closing-day card at Presque Isle Downs.

Check the Label will be looking for her first victory of the season for trainer Graham Motion in the $100,000 H.B.P.A. Stakes, which drew a field of 11 fillies and mares. A 4-year old, Check the Label won 4 of 8 starts last year, all graded turf stakes.

Check the Label has made four starts this year. She finished second, beaten a neck, in the Grade  3 Doubledogdare at Keeneland on April 22, and a dismal ninth in the Mint Julep on the turf at Churchill Downs June 11. Since then, she has been third in the Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx on July 4, and 10th in the Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington Park.

Motion is using the H.B.P.A., a mile and 70-yard race over Presque Isle’s Tapeta surface, as a measuring stick for Check the Label.

“We just need to see where we are with her, this is a more conservative spot and hopefully will get her back on track,” Motion said.

There is nothing physically ailing Check the Label, according to Motion.

“She is training as well in the morning as she ever has, she is just not running as well as last year,” he said. “I think her best race this year was on the synthetic at Keeneland and she trains well here at Fair Hill over the Tapeta, so this seemed like a logical move to come here.”

Pablo Morales will ride Check the Label for the first time.

Also on the card are a pair of $150,000 2-year-old stakes, the Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial for colts and geldings and the Presque Isle Debutante for fillies. Both events were boosted from $100,000 to $150,000 this year because of an increase in revenue from the 2,000 slot machines that support the purse structure at Presque Isle Downs.

Menlo Castle will be looking for his second consecutive stakes victory when facing 10 others in the 6 1/2-furlong Dixon Memorial. Trained by Ralph Biamonte, Menlo Castle will ship in from Woodbine, where he won the $201,000 Simcoe in his last out. He was kept just off the pace in that 6 1/2-furlong race before drawing off to win by 7 3/4 lengths.

Menlo Castle earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 88 in the Simcoe, eight points higher than anyone else in Saturday’s race. Menlo Castle’s from-off-the-pace style should suit him well in this speed laden field.

Patrick Husbands retains the mount.

I Spy Too won a six-furlong maiden race here Aug. 24 by nearly seven lengths while making his third career start. Trainer Jamie Ness then sent I Spy Too out in an entry-level allowance event, which he won by nearly two lengths Sept.  17.

Huber Villa Gomez, aboard for all four local starts, retains the mount.

Blue Forty will try to remain undefeated when making her third lifetime start in the Presque Isle Debutante. The daughter of D’wildcat won her debut in front-running style for trainer James Devito by four lengths at Arlington Park on June 18. In her last out Sept. 10, also at Arlington, Blue Forty won an optional claiming race going six furlongs, the same distance as the Debutante, by nearly four lengths, this time after being kept off the early pace.

The versatility she has shown will suit her well in the full field of 12.

Jozbin Santana retains the mount.