06/04/2007 11:00PM

Scarlet Butterfly better elsewhere


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Scarlet Butterfly, a Fair Grounds horse-for-course, makes her first Woodbine start of 2007 in Thursday's headliner, a second-level turf allowance with a $62,500 optional-claiming clause.

Scarlet Butterfly led throughout a first-level allowance at Fair Grounds in December, earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure. After placing in her next two starts in allowance races there, she was ambitiously spotted in the Grade 3 Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap, and finished second to a sharp J'ray.

Scarlet Butterfly set a lively pace before fading to fifth in the March 25 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Handicap. Trainer Mark Frostad shipped her to Keeneland for her last start, a second-level allowance, and she ran seventh.

Frostad believes the unique Fair Grounds turf course is made to order for Scarlet Butterfly.

"It's a real sandy course," he said. "Some turf horses don't like it, and other turf horses really like it. Maybe [Scarlet Butterfly] is one of those. She's been pretty useful this year. I don't know what happened in her last race. I thought she would run better."

The highest placing Scarlet Butterfly has in four starts over Woodbine's grass course is a third-place finish in a maiden race. She was a flat fifth here last July in the restricted Wonder Where Stakes, but the 1 1/4-mile distance of that race might have been beyond her range.

Garry Cruise will ride Scarlet Butterfly, a Sam-Son Farm homebred.

Other contenders in Thursday's 1o1/16-mile feature include The Queen's Stamp, The Niagara Queen, and One Quiet Cat.

The Queen's Stamp won a 1 1/16-mile allowance last summer before running several strong races against optional-claiming stock on the Polytrack in the fall.

She wound up seventh after forcing the pace in her season opener, going about seven furlongs over Keeneland's Polytrack.

Woodbine's leading jockey, apprentice Tyler Pizarro, will ride The Queen's Stamp for trainer Darwin Banach.

The Niagara Queen was a surprising second behind the talented Strike Softly in the Carotene Stakes over this course in October. She subsequently romped in a seven-furlong allowance here on the Poly, but was out of the money in her first two starts this year.

Most recently, in the Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes, The Niagara Queen ran seventh, beaten seven lengths by the winner, Strike Softly. The race was her first for trainer Mike Doyle.

One Quiet Cat won a May 13 allowance and was seventh the only time she ran on the grass, in an allowance in October 2005.