09/28/2009 12:00AM

Starter-allowance conditions lure unlikely pair


Less than a year ago, True to Tradition was good enough to win the Grade 2 Nearctic at Woodbine and earn a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

Early in 2008, Lord Snowdon was second in the Grade 2 General George Handicap at Laurel and third, beaten less than four lengths, in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park.

Believe it or not, both True to Tradition and Lord Snowdon have found their way into Monday's sixth race at Philadelphia Park, a six-furlong starter allowance open to horses who have run for a claiming tag of $25,000 or less anytime in their career.

In the case of True to Tradition and Lord Snowdon, you must go back more than two years to find a race that makes them eligible for Monday's starter allowance.

True to Tradition, who has won 10 of 31 lifetime and $709,542, ran in a $25,000 nonwinners-of-three-lifetime race in July 2007. A turf specialist who has not raced on dirt since October 2007, the 7-year-old True to Tradition last competed in a dirt sprint in March of that year.

The 6-year-old Lord Snowdon, a 10-time winner with earnings of $502,310, has been running for a tag in his two most recent races, including a win at the $40,000 level in June, but hasn't been in for as low as $25,000 since July 2006.

Lord Snowdon and Cavallo Pazzo form a potent entry for trainer Tony Dutrow. Jockey Frankie Pennington has been named on both horses.

Cavallo Pazzo, a consistent 6-year-old gelding who is 10 for 21 lifetime, is riding a four-race winning streak that includes wins over similar starter allowance foes at Saratoga and Belmont.

The six-horse field also includes Whistle Pig, a five-time stakes winner against Pennslylvania-bred company, and Cherokee Country, whose 5-for-9 local record includes a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure earned three weeks ago in a stakes-caliber allowance sprint in which Whistle Pig finished third.

Monday's nine-race card also features three first-level allowance races, including two scheduled for five furlongs on the turf.