06/30/2012 3:07PM

Presque Isle: Withgreatpleasure in top form for Windward Stakes


Withgreatpleasure will try to make it two straight wins Tuesday evening in the $100,000 Windward at Presque Isle Downs. The Windward is for fillies and mares at one mile on the Tapeta main track.

Trained by David Nunn, Withgreatpleasure won her first race of the year in January at Parx Racing, but was disqualified for ducking in and bumping a rival. After a five-month layoff, the 4 year-old Withgreatpleasure won an optional claiming event at Belmont Park on June 20 going 6 1/2 furlongs.

Nunn was leery about running his charge back in only 13 days.

“I really like to space her races out more than that, but she came back so good off that big effort in her first out in five months, I thought we would give it a shot,” Nunn said.

Withgreatpleasure has run twice over synthetic surfaces and didn’t hit the board either time. Nunn is not concerned, however.

“Those races were when she was a 2-year-old, and she really didn’t know what she was doing on any surface then,” Nunn said. “She has run on 12 different surfaces since then and seems to handle anything. I feel she will take to it just fine.”

In her last two races, Withgreatpleasure has been taken back off the pace, but Nunn feels she will be up closer in the one-mile Windward.

“I think since she is bouncing back off that sprint, she will be up closer than she has been,” he said. “With the inside post, we can’t take back and get in traffic trouble. I am glad Paco Lopez is coming up to ride her. I am confident he will get her where she needs to be.”

Safe Crossing will be looking for her third straight win Tuesday in the Windward. Safe Crossing won an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park in February and then an allowance at Keeneland on April 13, her last out.

Both races were on the turf, but trainer Jonathan Sheppard sports a 32 percent win rate when switching horses from turf to synthetics. Mario Pino will ride.