Updated on 09/15/2011 12:24PM

Sky High Dancer has slight edge


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Sky High Dancer, a rapidly improving filly who finished second in the Palo Alto Handicap June 2, holds a thin edge over a pair of tough Southern California invaders and three others in the $34,000 allowance feature at 1 1/8 miles on the grass at Bay Meadows Thursday.

The feature will go as the fourth race on an unusually strong weekday program, which is surprising because Bay Meadows is now running concurrently with the San Joaquin County Fair at Stockton and competing with the fair for horses.

Both tracks drew large fields Thursday. The Bay Meadows eight-race program includes two allowance races. Only one race, the feature, has fewer than seven horses, and four races have eight or more entrants.

Sky High Dancer looks like the one to beat in the feature because she is improving, and has proven that she likes the turf course here, while her two major foes - Gamblingisavirtue and Palace Royale - have yet to race here.

Sky High Dancer, a 4-year-old from the Don Roberson stable, was racing and losing in $12,500 claiming races late last year. But on Jan. 3 of this year, she rallied from far back to win a $25,000 claiming race on the Golden Gate turf, and began to things turn around. She came right back to win an allowance race, and after a weak effort in a second-level allowance, scored back-to-back victories in $12,500 starter allowances.

After those races, Roberson tried her in the Palo Alto, and she closed with a rush to finish second to Show Me Genius.

Gamblingisavirtue and Palace Royale finished fourth and fifth, a half-length apart, in a second-level allowance race at Hollywood Park in their most recent starts. Between them, Palace Royale rates as the main threat to Sky High Dancer for two reasons. First, she was a much shorter price than her rival was last time, because in her previous start at Santa Anita she had finished second in a third-level allowance race. The horse who beat her, Janet, subsequently won the Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap at Bay Meadows.

Second, there is virtually no pace in Thursday's race, and Palace Royale appears likely to gain an easy lead.

Carr's injury not serious

Dennis Carr, who was thrown from his mount, Key Document, when he jumped a fallen horse in Sunday's Ascot Handicap, escaped with only a "very sore tailbone," according to his agent, Boone McCanna. McCanna said Carr may ride Wednesday and will definitely be back by Thursday.

The accident occurred after Times Square broke his left foreleg and went down, throwing his rider, Frank Alvarado. Alvarado, who had been scheduled to begin riding at Arlington Park Wednesday, suffered a hairline fracture of a rib and will miss one week, according to his agent, Brad Pegram.