07/06/2009 11:00PM

Starfish Bay sharp for turf sprint


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Starfish Bay makes her delayed Monmouth Park debut on Wednesday in the $41,000 first-level allowance feature for fillies and mares going five furlongs on the turf.

Todd Pletcher shipped Starfish Bay to his Monmouth division with the intention of running the 3-year-old in the Crank It Up Stakes on June 28. She wound up on the also-eligible list, and was scratched when an open spot did not materialize.

Rather than van her back to his Belmont Park base, Pletcher opted to leave Starfish Bay at Monmouth with this spot in mind.

She should be sharp, following a main-track bullet workout here on July 1: a half-mile in 48 seconds, the fastest of 38 at the distance.

"She tends to work quick," assistant Anthony Sciametta said. "She's pretty honest."

Starfish Bay has run three times, all on turf. She debuted at Gulfstream in February, eking out a nose win going one mile.

Starfish Bay remained at a mile for a first-level allowance at Gulfstream, where she made a bid turning for home before fading. She next ran at Belmont, cutting back to six furlongs for a second to Girlfrienontheside, who then stepped up to capture the Crank It Up.

This will be Starfish Bay's shortest distance yet, but her workout pattern and most recent Beyer Speed Figure (82) suggest enough speed to handle this sprint.

Chris DeCarlo, Pletcher's first-call rider at Monmouth, will be aboard.

Seth Benzel, a former Pletcher assistant, sends out Golden Artemis for her second grass appearance.

A speedy 3-year-old, Golden Artemis has the rail and is usually on or very close to the pace. Stamina has been an issue lately as Golden Artemis tends to fade in deep stretch.

The cutback in distance could help. This is the first time she has shortened to five furlongs since winning her debut in the mud at Belmont in June of last year.

She will wear blinkers for the first time.

Positive Prospect also comes out of the Girlfrienontheside-Starfish Bay allowance race at Belmont. She was a close fourth in only her second race for trainer Tony Dutrow.

Linda Rice, always a force in turf sprints, sends out two: Glitter City and Myakka.

Glitter City was third here last time in a similar race that came off the turf last month. Myakka has been freshened since finishing fourth at Tampa Bay Downs in April.