05/26/2010 11:00PM

A scratch would help Even Road


MIAMI - Even Road has continued to improve with age and has always been at her best over her home course at Calder. But even trainer Stanley Ersoff would be the first to admit her chances of capturing Saturday's $55,000 Take D' Tour hinges on whether his colleague Marty Wolfson opts to run or scratch Even Road's longtime nemesis Jessica Is Back.

Jessica Is Back is one of three horses Wolfson entered for the mile and 70-yard Take D' Tour, along with Boleyn and Dash Dot Dash. Even Road has faced Jessica Is Back four times dating back to last fall but beaten her just once when second in a money allowance race while earning a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure in October.

"She comes from behind and a lot depends on how the speed shapes up in front of her," said Ersoff, who owns and bred Even Road. "In Saturday's race, her chances may depend on whether Marty runs

Jessica Is Back and she gets out on the lead without any pressure."

Even Road has not started since finishing sixth, beaten three lengths by

Unrivaled Belle, in Gulfstream Park's Grade 3 Rampart on March 20. She was also third behind Sweet Repent and Jessica Is Back in the Sunshine Million Distaff earlier this season.

"She had to go pretty wide in her last start but she always gives her best," said Ersoff, who will again have the services of leading rider Manoel Cruz.

Jessica Is Back sandwiched second-place finishes in the Sunshine Millions Distaff and Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap at

Hawthorne Park around a nine-length victory in the restricted Ocala Stakes in her three starts this season. Now 6, Jessica Is Back won five times and banked more than $220,000 in 2009.

Boleyn may prove an ample substitute for her stablemate if Wolfson decides to hold Jessica Is Back for a more lucrative spot. Boleyn was Grade 2 stakes-placed at 2 and is on the comeback trail after missing nearly a year from April of her 3-year-old campaign until March of this year. Boleyn registered her first victory since returning to the races when she cruised by 5 1/2 lengths in an allowance here earlier this month.

Poovey returns to Florida off a series of big efforts in New York and could provide Jessica Is Back with an early challenge for the lead. Poovey won four races in a row for trainer Bruce Levine from October through Feb. 5 but has come back to south Florida with David Fawkes.