03/29/2012 12:45PM

Tampa Bay: Slander seeks second career win


Slander, a good-looking winner leaving the maiden ranks against $32,000 claimers early in the Tampa Bay meeting, tops an overflow field of fillies and mares on Saturday in what figures to be a highly competitive mile and a sixteenth turf test for $25,000 claiming routers who have not won two races.

From the powerful Leigh Delacour barn, Slander will have Daniel Centeno in the irons as she drops down from an even sixth-place finish in a first-level optional claimer. Slander came into that race, her first try against winners, off a six-week break.

Two races back, in her maiden win, Slander was dropped in for a claiming tag for the first time. She raced off the pace into the stretch, then angled outside and rallied past the leaders through the stretch for a popular 2  3/4-length victory.

Slander has had two solid maintenance works since her last start and the Delacour barn has a strong record with turf runners, winning at 22 percent on the grass this meeting.

Prize Doll, from the Curtis Garrison barn, also drops to an easier class level Saturday. She will be making her third start off a layoff and could be Slander’s top competiton.

A winner over the Tampa course last season, Prize Doll finished sixth while making her first start since April in an allowance test at a mile and a sixteenth here in late December. Prize Doll, a daughter of the Storm Cat sire Pure Prize, broke from a tough outside post position in that race and also had the misfortune to be in against Federation, a filly who would win two straight over the local course before finishing second in the Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes.

Prize Doll made her second start of the meet following a six-week break on Feb. 10. She raced in behind the leaders into the stretch of another mile and a sixteenth allowance but lacked a strong late kick, winding up sixth, beaten less than three length.

Prize Doll has worked four times since her last in mid February and should appreciate Saturday’s drop in class.

Leading rider Leandro Goncalves will handle Prize Doll.

Fashion Bee has a second and fourth in her last two outings at this level and will be closing late, while Nokia’s Vow jumps up in class for her second start since last summer but could be an upset candidate.

Vision of Romance has been banging heads with tough company at Gulfstream Park and comes in here off a rough trip.