05/09/2007 11:00PM

Street Sounds heavy favorite in Hilltop



Street Sounds's payday for winning last month's Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland was nearly double the amount of the entire purse offered in Saturday's feature at Pimlico.

So it stands to reason that Street Sounds will be a prohibitive favorite in the $80,000, one-mile Hilltop, facing seven other 3-year-old fillies who have never finished better than fourth in a turf stakes, graded or otherwise.

Street Sounds, who earned $155,000 for her neck victory at 9-1 in the April 12 Beaumont, would appear to have this field at her mercy as she preps for bigger challenges later.

The most intriguing longshot may be Ethan's Car, who comes off an easy score on the main track over first-level allowance rivals. Although unraced on turf, Ethan's Car is a half-sister to Cozy Gain, who finished second in her turf debut in the Pearl Necklace in Maryland. Overall, Cozy Gain won 3 of 13 turf starts and $102,404.

Naseem, making her first start for trainer Dove Houghton, failed badly in three consecutive tries against graded stakes company in Florida, but only one of those races was on the grass. The last time she raced following a layoff, Naseem finished just 2 1/4 lengths behind the winner in the $100,000 Cherokee Frolic, despite having to steady on the far turn of the turf stakes.

Cabbage Key has improved dramatically since being switched to the turf by trainer Michael Zwiesler. A deep closer, Cabbage Key went 3 for 3 on grass at Tampa Bay Downs, improving her Beyer Speed Figures each time.

Delaware: Pletcher filly looks tough

Four horses dropping in class from Grade 2 stakes - including the 3-4-5 finishers from last month's Comley at Aqueduct - are in a field of 10

3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles in the $55,000 Polly's Jet at Delaware Park.

The group exiting graded stakes is headed by the Todd Pletcher-trained Perfect Forest. Never worse than third in five lifetime starts, Perfect Forest was most recently third as the 8-5 favorite in the one-mile Comley.

A front-runner, Perfect Forest is likely to face pressure from Bold Assurance, another New York-based runner, who has been freshened since she had to steady and then was eased in the Grade 2 Forward Gal at Gulfstream Park two months ago.

Also dangerous are Officer in Pursuit, who finished two lengths behind Perfect Forest in the Comely; Lemon Drop Mom, winner of back-to-back starts at Oaklawn Park; and Super Natascha, second in two stakes locally last fall and moving back to the main track after a one-race experiment on turf.