08/12/2009 12:00AM

Rose has contenders on two fronts


MIAMI - Trainer Barry Rose will send out Joanie's Catch as one of the favorites in the Susan's Girl Stakes here at Calder on Aug. 29. But Rose will be unable to attend the race. Instead, he will be at Saratoga, where he will try to win a Grade 1 race that same afternoon with his vastly improved Prince Joshua in the King's Bishop.

Prince Joshua earned his way into the King's Bishop last Sunday with a come-from-behind, one-length victory in Monmouth Park's Select Stakes. The Select was the second stakes triumph of the year for Prince Joshua, a homebred son of First Tour, who was also third after contesting a rapid pace in the Grade 2 Carry Back here earlier this summer.

"Normally he's right near the lead, but I thought there was enough speed in the race Sunday that he could lay close but not have to fight all the way, as he had in the Carry Back," Rose said by phone from Saratoga on Wednesday. "Things don't always work out as you plan, but that's how Paco [Lopez] rode him, and things turned out just right."

Rose said that a layoff prompted by a bleeding problem, for which he was forced to sit Prince Joshua for 30 days earlier this season, is the main reason for his colt's improvement over the past several months.

"He got a little rest after he bled at Gulfstream," said Rose. "We got him straightened out and haven't had the problem since. We know we're going to have to deal with some pretty tough competition in the King's Bishop, but there are not many races at this time of year for 3-year-old sprinters unless I wanted to put him on the turf, which I don't."

Joanie's Catch finished second, beaten less than a length by Sweetlalabye, in the Desert Vixen Stakes here Saturday after breaking several lengths behind the field in the opening leg of the filly division of the Florida Stallion Stakes.

"She probably would have won easily if she broke the other day," said Rose. "She breaks from the gate in a blanket, which the gate crew uses to calm nervous horses. We'll bring her back to the gate a few times before her next start to school her and probably try to break her without the blanket in the future."

Cassidy's Pride in better spot

Cassidy's Pride returns to a more suitable spot after being overmatched against top-level 3-year-old sprinters in her last two starts when she takes on five rivals in Friday's $27,000 allowance feature.

Cassidy's Pride, a 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro, finished sixth in the Leave Me Alone and seventh in Grade 3 Azalea Stakes in her most recent appearances. In the Leave Me Alone, Cassidy's Pride appeared to be cruising to the leaders full of run turning for home before coming up empty through the stretch. She was only a brief factor making her graded stakes debut four weeks later in the Azalea.

Cassidy's Pride has posted impressive victories in her last two tries against allowance opposition. On Feb. 15, she registered a major upset when she outfinished Light Green by a length to win her entry-level allowance condition at Gulfstream Park. Light Green has since gone on to post a pair of easy wins and finish second in the Grade 1 Prioress.

Cassidy's Pride was an even easier, 4 1/2-length winner taking on older horses for the only time in her career here on May 30, cruising home with speed to spare over a sloppy track in a second-level optional claiming and allowance dash. She will again have the services of leading rider Manoel Cruz on Friday.

Diced N Sliced exits a career-best performance from a Beyer Speed Figure prospective, when she defeated slightly weaker allowance company on Aug. 1. Diced N Sliced earned a Beyer Figure of 89 for her game neck triumph over the speedy Elusive Appeal, her second victory of the meet and the fourth in 19 career starts for the former claimer.

Hopeful Image, who was Grade 2-placed this winter at Gulfstream, and the stakes-placed Glotona drop to a softer spot after being overmatched in the Nancy's Glitter Handicap around two turns on July 25.

Silk Ridge, who remains winless since her outstanding 2-year-old season in 2007, and Passage of Time complete the lineup.

* Abel Lezcano, a cousin of the Saratoga-based rider Jose Lezcano, will begin riding here on Saturday. Lezcano, a graduate of the renowned Panama Jockey School, won 38 races in his native Panama before coming to the United States. He will ride with a five-pound allowance and is listed on four mounts on Saturday's card.

Lezcano's riding engagements will be handled locally by A.J. Prasaguet.