09/20/2012 1:48PM

Suffolk: Adahai back from layoff


Adahai is the clear standout in Saturday's $50,000 African Prince Stakes at Suffolk Downs, but the early leader of the 3-year-old class of Massachusetts-breds missed some training this summer and Saturday's start is just the second of his career.In his debut July 2, the gelding looked very much like a finished product, dashing to the lead in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race and building momentum from there. He won by four lengths and earned a 61 Beyer Speed Figure - relatively gaudy for a young horse at Suffolk.

It took more than two months to show up on a workout tab afterward, going a half-mile last week in 50 seconds. His connections and supporters will take heart knowing he produced a similar breeze just before his debut.

Jockey David Amiss, who started the week one win from 1,000 in his career, will be back aboard for trainer Wayne Marcoux.

Doubters worried about that layoff may land on the filly Dreamed a Dream, who comes off an impressive win over a sloppy track in the Louise Kimball Stakes three weeks ago at this same distance.

Fonzy and leading jockey Tammi Piermarini also exit a victory, though Fonzy's was overdue. He finished fourth against older runners in the Rise Jim Stakes in July, but faltered at short prices in two subsequent maiden races before breaking through Sept. 5.

African Prince was a multiple stakes winner at Suffolk Downs in the 1980s for owner, breeder, and trainer John Kirby, who died this past January. His family sends out longshot Turko Star in what might be a sentimental play.