09/23/2010 3:49PM

Rose Catherine perfect in turf sprints

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rose Catherine will test her perfect record in turf sprints in Saturday's Turf Amazon at Parx Racing.

Rose Catherine puts her undefeated mark in turf sprints on the line Saturday against four opponents – including stablemate West Ocean – in the $200,000 Turf Amazon Handicap at Parx Racing, formerly known as Philadelphia Park.

The Turf Amazon, run at five furlongs, is the supporting feature on a 12-race card that features the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby. Though six were entered for the Turf Amazon, trainer Bret Calhoun said Thursday that Dubai Majesty, beaten a neck in this race last year, will scratch to run in the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland on Oct. 9.

Rose Catherine, the only 3-year-old in the field, is 5 for 5 in turf sprints, though she has never run in a five-furlong turf race. She has won three of her turf sprints in front-running fashion and has come from off the pace twice, including in the Lena Spencer Stakes at Saratoga, which she won by a half-length on Sept. 4.

Breaking from the rail, Rose Catherine figures to be forwardly placed under Javier Castellano.

“We’ll let her run her race and see how fast some of the other ones are wanting to go,” said Todd Pletcher, trainer of Rose Catherine.

Pletcher also will run West Ocean, who had won three consecutive stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf before being run down by Dubai Majesty in the Incredible Revenge Stakes at Monmouth on Aug. 15. With Dubai Majesty scratching, West Ocean becomes the starting high weight of 122 pounds under John Velazquez.

Canadian Ballet won the Turf Amazon last year for trainer Linda Rice before finishing fifth, beaten just four lengths, in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita. Canadian Ballet finished fifth behind Rose Catherine in the Lena Spencer but was part of a 43.95-second half-mile.

Canadian Ballet, who breaks from post 6 under Stewart Elliott, will likely be on the lead again but doesn’t figure to have to go as fast Saturday.

“We’re going,” Rice said. “That’s what she likes to do. Unfortunately, we haven’t had her in as good a form as last year.”

Rice also will send out Lady Rizzi, who finished ninth in the Lena Spencer last out. Three starts back, she won the Buckland Stakes at Colonial.

Ashton Girl, a recent allowance winner at Parx, completes the field.