03/03/2010 12:00AM

Returning pair look dangerous


One long layoff, one shorter, will shape a pair of dirt-route allowance races on Friday at Fair Grounds.

In race 5, Glenwood Canyon is set to make his first start since June, and if all the speed entered in this second-level optional $40,000 claimer actually materializes, Glenwood Canyon can make a successful return to the races.

And in race 7, top Louisiana-bred sprinter Flashy Wise Cat races for the first time since a stakes triumph almost three months ago, making his first start around two turns.

Race 5 drew eight entries, and half of them want to race on or near the lead. Smarten Destiny wired an entry-level allowance race two starts ago; Major Marvel and Maltese Dog have recently shown speed in sprints; Becky's Express has been the first-call leader in seven straight starts.

If even half those potential pace players are given their head, race 5 could fall to a closer, with Dumar and Glenwood Canyon the logical parties.

Dumar just rallied from seventh in an eight-horse field to score a 2 3/4-length victory at this class level and distance Feb. 13, and since he raced under the claiming option that day, Dumar comes right back as a second-level allowance horse. Glenwood Canyon, meanwhile, won consecutive route races in sharp fashion at Fair Grounds and Churchill last spring, but has not raced since June 21, and is returning from surgery to remove a bone chip from his knee, trainer Al Stall said.

"He was ready to go about a month ago, and we just waited for this race," said Stall. "He's come back fine, and he's always forward in the morning.'

Flying Pegasus may get first run on the two closers, but who knows where his form lies right now. Talented but lightly raced, 4-year-old Flying Pegasus has finished third at 9-5 and seventh at even money in two starts back from the third extended layoff of his career.

Flashy Wise Cat, meanwhile, makes his first start since a 4 1/2-length win in the Dec. 19 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint, and will be making his first start beyond seven furlongs in the mile and 40-yard seventh race, which is for Louisiana-breds who haven't won twice at a mile or longer since Sept. 1. Flashy Wise Cat has shown plenty of flash rallying into a fast pace going one turn, but it's an open question how he will fare in a longer, slower-paced race. Doubters may find an appealing option in the coupled entry of Hallway and Snug, proven route horses both.