03/26/2008 11:00PM

Sutra should revert to stalking tactics


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Sutra ran her race in her most recent start, but she raced on the front end, which was a departure from her typical style. Saturday, with the right pace setup, she could resume familiar stalking tactics against five other fillies and mares in the $50,000 Carousel at Oaklawn Park.

The six-furlong Carousel drew nothing but stakes winners, among them Akronism, Classify, and Graeme Six. But it is Sutra who is the field's most accomplished runner, having won the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park in 2006.

In more recent times, Sutra has been racing at Fair Grounds. Last time out, she finished second to Graeme Six in the $100,000 Pan Zareta on Feb. 9. Sutra dueled on the lead for the first time in her career in the six-furlong race, which went in a quick 1:09.80.

"She broke sharp from the inside," said Michael Stidham, who trains Sutra for Stonerside Stable and Oakcrest Farm. "She actually showed more speed than she's ever shown. And I think, overall, it was a good race against a good filly.

"Depending on how much speed there is in the race, she's kind of like a stalking-type horse. If there's a reasonable pace in front of her, that's what I would expect."

Sutra, who one start prior to the Pan Zareta won an optional claimer over Graeme Six, might be able to stalk Akronism, Polyhymnia, and perhaps Graeme Six. Cliff Berry has the mount on Sutra, who is making her second start at Oaklawn. She ran here in March 2007 and was second in a $50,000 optional claimer while making her first start since November 2006.

She ran well in her comeback race last year," said Stidham. "She ran a good race, a good number on this track."

Classify is the field's horse-for-course, with a 4-for-5 record at Oaklawn. In her last start, she dead-heated for the win with the now-retired Ginger Bay in the $50,000 Spring Fever Stakes on March 1. Luis Quinonez has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Akronism, who was fourth as the favorite in the 5 1/2-furlong Spring Fever, is moving back to the distance of her last win in the Carousel. She was sharp in a six-furlong allowance here Feb. 10, when she was prominent throughout for a three-length win over stakes winner Doyouwanttodance. Clinton Potts will be aboard Akronism for trainer Tim Ritchey.

Leading rider Eddie Razo has the mount on Graeme Six for trainer Tom Amoss.