08/17/2010 12:32PM

Pure Class looks for old form on Del Mar's Polytrack


DEL MAR, Calif. – It was here last summer when Pure Class first put herself on the radar, with an overpowering victory against 2-year-old maiden fillies that stamped her as one to follow for both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies that fall, perhaps even the Kentucky Oaks the following spring. But an injury last fall put an end to those aspirations, and in three starts so far this year, she only sports a first-level allowance victory.

Pure Class is back at Del Mar, though, for Thursday’s featured seventh race, and that gives her a chance to return to her best form. Although she is moving up in class, to a second-level allowance following a victory against a softer group last time out at Hollywood Park, she will be racing over the track at which she ran her best race. This will be her first start on Polytrack since that eye-catching, five-length victory.

“I think she’s coming around well now,” said her trainer, John Sadler, who also will send out Emmy Darling in the six-horse field, which is racing for a $62,000 purse.

Pure Class was sidelined following a sixth-place finish in the Oak Leaf Stakes and did not return until more than six months later. After a moderate effort in her comeback race, Sadler tried her on the turf, but she only managed to split the field, finishing fourth of seven.

“She didn’t like the grass,” he said.

Pure Class rebounded with a victory on July 4, and with Del Mar looming, Sadler held out hopes of running Pure Class at the end of this meet in the Torrey Pines Stakes on Sept. 5. To get there, Sadler wanted to run Pure Class in a race like she one she is in on Thursday. But it failed to fill when carded earlier in the meet.

“I was hoping to come back in the Torrey Pines,” Sadler said. “It might be a little close now. I could wait for it. But it doesn’t make much sense to pass up this conditioned race to wait for a $100,000 stake.”

Emmy Darling won at this level earlier in the year. She is eligible for the race because Sadler has put her in for a $62,500 claiming price in this optional claiming event. She has raced in graded stakes in her last two starts.

“I’m just trying to find an easier spot for her,” he said.

Also dropping in class is Made for Magic, who has chased Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra in two of her last three starts.

Madel won here the first week of the meet.