01/11/2011 3:03PM

Super Slash starts year in Gulfstream optional claimer

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Super Slash is a family affair. Owned by Peter Klesaris and trained by his son Steve, the veteran mare made a pretty good living knocking around the mid-level claiming and starter allowance ranks, with an occasional foray into stakes and even graded stakes company.

On Thursday at Gulfstream Park, Super Slash finds herself back in the optional claiming ranks for the first time in nearly two years, taking on seven rivals in the $55,000 main event at six furlongs.

Super Slash, 7, has started 39 times during her career, the last 2 1/2 years for the elder Klesaris who claimed the daughter of Smoke Glacken for $20,000 during late summer 2008 at Delaware Park. He trained Super Slash for 11 months before turning her over to his son the following August at Saratoga.

Since that time, Super Slash has made just seven starts, the best of which was a seven-length victory over $60,000 open claimers last winter at Aqueduct. That performance, which received a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure, earned the mare a spot in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel, where she more than held her own, finishing fifth of 14 while beaten just a half-length despite a wide trip.

Unfortunately, Super Slash exited the Fritchie with a minor injury and spent the next nine months on the sidelines. She has had one start on the comeback trail, finishing third under starter allowance conditions at Aqueduct on Nov. 19.

“She suffered a little setback in the Fritchie but she’s on the rebound now,” the younger Klesaris said. “She’s an older filly just trying to seek her level. Her race off the bench was okay. She’s certainly a contender the way this race came up, and it should be a good place to start the year.”

Super Slash faces a field that includes Quick Notice, Dattt Echo, Granted Tiger, Golden Mystery, Hyperlink, Her Holiday, and Indy’s Alexandra.

Hyperlink makes her first start since being transferred to trainer Ken McPeek following a fourth-place finish Oct. 20 in Delaware’s Polly’s Jet Stakes. A daughter of Toccet, Hyperlink won twice as a 3-year-old in 2010 and has trained extremely well since arriving locally with a near black letter 59.20-second five0furlong drill on Dec. 31 and five-eighths in 1:01 in company with her younger but multiple graded stakes-winning stablemate Kathmanblu last weekend on her r é sum é .