05/23/2007 12:00AM

Struggling Lemons Forever gets turf try


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The last time Lemons Forever won a race, it was on a Friday at Churchill Downs as the sun was sinking.

But since becoming the longest-priced winner in the history of the Kentucky Oaks by virtue of her 47-1 upset on May 5, 2006, Lemons Forever hasn't come close to winning in seven starts. Undeterred, trainer Dallas Stewart has decided to switch up instead of give up, and so as the sun is sinking on an 11-race twilight program Friday at Churchill, Lemons Forever will try to start a new win streak when making her grass debut.

"We're very hopeful," said Stewart, an irrepressible sort who took Lemons Forever to the Churchill paddock for a brief schooling session before the second race Wednesday. "She's got a lot of grass in her pedigree."

A 4-year-old chestnut by Lemon Drop Kid out of the Argentine mare Critikola, Lemons Forever is one of nine fillies and mares entered in the featured ninth race, a $55,000, third-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles on turf. At eht most only eight will start, because Superb Ravi will run only if the race is moved to the main track.

While the best performance for Lemons Forever since her Oaks triumph was a modest third-place finish in the Alabama Stakes last August at Saratoga, the filly has raced against the best of the best. All but one of her seven races came in Grade 1 stakes, the lone exception being her last race, the Grade 2 Louisville Breeders' Cup on the 2007 Oaks undercard. She finished last.

"I really think she's still got a lot of run in her," said Stewart. "I'm really excited about seeing what she can do on the grass."

Lemons Forever, with Mark Guidry to ride, will start from post 3.

Her strongest challengers appear to be Almonsoon, trained by Todd Pletcher, and Flow Chart, a former French campaigner now trained by Patrick Biancone.

Almonsoon (post 7, with Rafael Bejarano up) has been in sharp form lately, each of her last four starts earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 88 or higher. She most recently was second to stablemate Safari Queen in the Orchid Handicap on March 31 at Gulfstream Park.

Flow Chart (post 5, Julien Leparoux) won her North American debut on April 22, rallying from last in a second-level Polytrack allowance at Keeneland.

The rest of the field is Indy Trouble, Best Mom, Keys, Praia Da Pipa, and Black Java.