03/18/2009 11:00PM

Stroll By steps up in quest of first stakes win


Stroll By, a winner in her two starts here this year, steps up to stakes company as she heads a field of seven 3-year-old fillies in the $15,000 Pepsi Stakes at Fonner Park.

Stroll By won her maiden in her first start this year on opening weekend, then returned on March 6 to take an entry-level allowance by a widening 2 1/2 lengths. Trained by Larry Donlin, Stroll By will be facing many of the same rivals she has already defeated and should be favored in this six-furlong sprint. She will have leading rider Jesus Ponce aboard.

Almost Silver, trained by S.L. Hall, rallied strongly through the stretch of Stroll By's allowance victory to finish second. Almost Silver won her maiden at first asking last August in Columbus. She was making her second start, and first of the year, when she faced Stroll By. The strong rally Almost Silver displayed should have her tight and poised to produce a big effort in the Pepsi. Chris Fackler has the mount.

Light Sweet Crude, a maiden trained by Chuck Wiley, was second to Stroll By on Feb. 15. She showed speed to contest the pace with Stroll By in that four-furlong maiden race and should have a say in the pace of this race. A $7,500 claim at Turfway Park last winter, Light Sweet Crude will have Luis Ranilla aboard.