08/22/2013 2:19PM

Suffolk: Three-peat bid for Southoftheborder in First Episode Stakes


Lloyd Lockhart just turned 88, and his family hopes that his homebred Southoftheborder will give him the perfect birthday gift when she carries his colors for the final time Saturday while defending consecutive titles in the $50,000 First Episode Stakes for Massachusetts-breds at Suffolk Downs.

"Winning this race three years in a row with her would be sweet, and it would be such a nice birthday present for my grandfather," said Alan Lockhart, who took over the training duties from Lloyd this year. "She's 10 now, and this will be the last race of her career. My grandfather is going to try to be here."

Southoftheborder, who has won 8 of 54 starts, didn't show much in her last effort, the $50,000 Isadorable for statebred fillies and mares Aug. 3, but it was only her second start after an 11-month layoff, and both of those races were at six furlongs. The First Episode, also restricted to females, will be at a mile 70 yards, and the two turns should suit her better.

"She likes to run longer and needed those two races," said Lockhart, who attended his grandfather's induction into the New England Turf Writers Association Hall of Fame last month. "She was in front all the way last year and won by almost five lengths. There's not much speed in this race, and I hope she gets to the front again and runs away with it."

Bobby Raymond's homebred Dreamed a Dream, third in the $50,000 Rise Jim against males and second in the Isadorable, looms as the main threat with Tallys Sundance, the third-place finisher in all four of her 2013 starts. Dreamed a Dream and Southoftheborder are co-highweighted at 124.

Fevers Full Moon, Never Know, Ladder, and Esther Iron Cross complete the field.