05/23/2007 12:00AM

Red Birkin tops turf allowance


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stakes-placed Red Birkin lays over her seven rivals in Friday's fourth race at Woodbine, a first-level allowance scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

Red Birkin made one unimpressive start on the Polytrack here last year, and has stuck to the turf ever since. She resurfaced Feb. 19 in a maiden special at Gulfstream, a race that she won comfortably while being awarded a 77 Beyer Speed Figure.

Red Birkin wound up second after a four-wide journey when she went on Lasix in a subsequent Gulfstream allowance. Most recently in the one-mile Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland, she was beaten by just a half-length when third in what has evolved into a key race. Rutherienne, the fourth-place finisher, subsequently won the $68,750 Sugar Plum Time Stakes at Belmont, and the sixth runner across the wire, Swingit, returned to capture the $171,150 Edgewood Stakes at Churchill.

Robert Landry will ride Red Birkin for Haras Santa Maria de Araras and Roger Attfield, the same owner-trainer tandem that won Monday's Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes with Palladio.

Exotics possibilities in Friday's fourth race are Royal Magenta, Final Melody, Merricks, and Saffi.

Royal Magenta graduated at 26-1 in her fourth outing on the grass, March 12 at Gulfstream. She dropped a head decision in a 1 1/16-mile allowance here on the Polytrack earlier this month, and figures to set the pace Friday.

Final Melody took three cracks at the first allowance category earlier this year at Fair Grounds and Keeneland, hitting the board in two of those engagements.

Merricks narrowly lost her debut, the only time she competed on the grass, in July 2005. She never saw action again until she won her maiden on the dirt here in May 2006, and has been absent since finishing fifth in a July 28 allowance.

Saffi finished a respectable second to winter-raced One Quiet Cat following a five-month layoff in a two-turn allowance May 13 on the Polytrack. Both of her career victories came on the turf.

Dance With Doves, a promising A.P. Indy filly, should be the prohibitive favorite in Friday's second race, a 1 1/16-mile maiden special for fillies and mares.

Dance With Doves, who finished a close second in her only start, is the first foal from Queen's Plate winner Dancethruthedawn, Canada's champion 3-year-old filly in 2001.

Serenading, another royally bred daughter of A.P. Indy, will likely be the second choice in the seven-horse field.