08/21/2008 11:00PM

Sultan's Prince has tradition to uphold


Sultan's Prince gets a chance to show off Sunday when the winner of last year's Norman Hall Stakes returns to the Massachusetts-bred ranks in the $50,000 African Prince Stakes at Suffolk Downs.

A 3-year-old colt, Sultan's Prince was born to be a champion in Massachusetts. He's the fifth stakes winner from the pairing of sire Sundance Ridge and the mare Sultan's Light. He was even money to win the Norman Hall Stakes last November just like his brothers Stylish Sultan and Strongestsovereign did earlier this decade.

Now he can join his sister Stylish Sultana in winning Sunday's six-furlong test for 3-year-olds.

Sultan's Prince has distinguished himself in his two races this year by hitting the board against older horses in open company, including a close loss to repeat winner Hold on Smokey on July 16.

Stylish Sultan and his sister Sunlit Ridge were very successful in open stakes races. Both earned more than $340,000 and Sultan's Prince appears ready to take on similar challenges.

In addition to Sultan's Prince's two strong efforts this year, he has posted bullet workouts in his last two breezes for trainer Tim Kirby.

Vernon Bush, who has been aboard Sultan's Prince for his stakes win and for his last race, is back aboard Sunday. Kirby is trying to get his first win of the season after 21 tries.

The biggest threat to Sultan's Prince should come from No More Goodbyes, a speedy son of More Than Ready who is coming off a fourth-place finish in an Aug. 9 allowance race. Prior to that he finished sixth behind Hold on Smokey and Sultan's Prince.

Trained by Wayne Marcoux, No More Goodbyes was a troubled seventh in the Rise Jim Stakes earlier this season. He will be coupled with Mr. Murphy, a recent claim by owners TK n Stride Stable.

Speed should also come from Wheely, who narrowly missed a $25,000 claiming win last race, and Merrimack Pat, who showed early foot last time in a maiden claiming event.

A New England homecoming for Allard

Trainer Ned Allard returned to New England on Saturday to saddle Anofficerandalady in the race named after the greatest horse he ever trained.

Allard is among New England racing's diaspora, successfully working in Philadelphia. He trained the Hall of Famer Mom's Command to win the 1985 triple tiara in New York and an Eclipse Award. It was the highpoint of Allard's more than 25 years as a trainer at Suffolk, where he won titles in 1973, '79, and '87.

"I'd easily admit she was probably the best horse I might ever get to be around," Allard said of Mom's Command.

"You never have to talk me into going back to New England," he added. "I love it there and I miss it."