11/10/2009 1:00AM

Stakes winners pack feature


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Although there isn't a stakes race at Churchill Downs until Saturday's Grade 2 Mrs. Revere, there is no absence of stakes horses in Thursday's $56,000 allowance feature at Churchill.

A five-furlong money allowance on the grass, the race drew a full field of 10, plus one also-eligible, and nine of the 10 entrants in the body of the field are stakes winners, with the one exception, Tiz to Dream, Grade 3 placed.

Libor Lady, a three-time stakes winner, should prove difficult to beat. Since being claimed for $40,000 in January of 2008 by owner David A. Ross and trainer Michael Pino, she has won approximately $300,000 - with the bulk of that bankroll being earned on turf and synthetic tracks.

This year has been her best year yet, with summer victories in the $100,000 Satin N Lace Stakes on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs and the $60,000 Klassy Briefcase on grass at Monmouth Park.

Then, following a fourth-place finish in an open allowance at Presque Isle Aug. 19, at a 6 1/2-furlong distance beyond her best, she rebounded with a clear runner-up finish behind graded stakes winner Dubai Majesty in the Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 16.

That race came on soft turf, conditions she handled better than some of her counterparts, but Libor Lady loses nothing on a firm course - the condition the Churchill turf is expected be Thursday. Her six grass wins have come on such ground.

The speedy Libor Lady will be ridden by Robby Albarado.

Although untested on grass, Don'ttalktome also looms a threat, particularly if she can break better than she did when she ran third in the Grade 2 Raven Run Oct. 24 at Keeneland. That afternoon she hopped at the start, spotting the field at least three to four lengths, but recovered to take the lead in midstretch before fading to lose by a length to Satans Quick Chick.

Although her sire, Cactus Ridge, never raced on turf, his offspring are 7 for 39 making their first start on grass - an above-average 18 percent win rate.

On the other hand, Don'ttalktome is the first foal to race from a Phone Trick mare, Withdrawn, who was unplaced in one grass start.

Taletobetold also merits attention, having won 3 of 6 over the Churchill Downs grass course, including the Open Mind Stakes in the spring of 2007.