Updated on 09/17/2011 12:50PM

Promising prospects in split allowance


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Nobody knows exactly what will transpire in the the two divisions of an allowance sprint at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday, but if history is a guide, horseplayers will like what they see.

After all, this is the first full week of the Gulfstream meet, where with unlimited futures tend to congregate. If form holds, as it usually does, the splits of an entry-level, seven-furlong allow-ance will produce an eye-popping performance or two, leading most everyone to start thinking about more demanding races such as the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby.

The two allowance divisions, each worth $34,000, are carded as the sixth and eighth on a nine-race Wednesday program. In the sixth, trainer Nick Zito will saddle a good-looking 3-year-old in Pies Prospect, a Crafty Prospector colt. His only career start resulted in a 5 1/4-length win, and an 80 Beyer Speed Figure, in a Nov. 29 maiden race at Aqueduct. Zito, who already has a handful of Kentucky Derby hopefuls on his shed row at the Palm Meadows training center, would add to his embarrassment of 3-year-old riches if Pies Prospect follows through with another big run Wednesday.

If not, then the race could fall any number of ways. One of the more logical challengers is Notorious Rogue, a Victory Gallop colt who was nominated to the Spectacular Bid Stakes on Saturday by trainer Mark Hennig. Notorious Rogue was good enough to finish third in the Hopeful Stakes last summer and has trained forwardly in recent weeks at Gulfstream after taking a little time off.

In the eighth, trainer Todd Pletcher has a major threat in Pollard's Vision, most recently third in the Huntington Stakes at Aqueduct in November. Pollard's Vision, with John Velazquez to ride, will have to be on his game to defeat a solid-looking group that includes Blushing Indian, Dashing Deputy, Super Cherokee, and All True.

Sandwiched between the 3-year-old allowance races is the richest event of the Wednesday program, a $36,000, second-level turf allowance for older fillies and mares. Half of the 10 horses in the main body are exiting stakes races, most notably Andover Lady, away since the Pebbles at Belmont in October, and Harmonist, eighth in the Genter Handicap at Calder on Dec. 20.

* Weekday post times at Gulfstream have changed this year: First post is 1:30 p.m. Eastern, a half-hour later than in prior years. The weekend post time remains 1 p.m.