03/14/2013 12:46PM

Tampa Bay: Wayward Lass represents class relief for My Pal Chrisy


OLDSMAR, Fla. – My Pal Chrisy raced against Eclipse Award winner Royal Delta in the Grade 3 Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream Park in her last start. She has an easier assignment Saturday when she faces 10 filly and mare rivals in the $50,000 Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Trained by Padarath Lutchman, My Pal Chrisy raced in close attendance to the pace in the 1 1/16-mile Sabin before fading to finish fifth and last, beaten more than 16 lengths. Prior to the Sabin, My Pal Chrisy finished third in both the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff and $100,000 Ocala Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

An eight-time winner during her career, My Pal Chrisy won the $150,000 Heubeck Distaff Handicap at Calder last November. Her late-running style should fit well in this speed-laden field.

Authenticity hails from the powerful Todd Pletcher barn and is fresh off a 17 1/2-length romp over first-level optional $25,000 claiming routers last time out at Gulfstream. She may well be favored in the 1 1/16-mile Wayward Lass. Authenticity didn’t make her first start until age 4. After making three starts, she was off from July 2011 until this January, when she finished third going a mile. Authenticity has been no worse than fourth in five career starts.

Clarinda overcame a world of trouble to leave the maiden ranks here in late December. She made her next start at Gulfstream, posting a 7-1 upset over a first-level optional $25,000 claiming field that included Authenticity. She finished third behind a runaway win by Ciao Bella in her last but still earned an 86 Beyer Speed Figure. In contrast, Authenticity earned an 82 Beyer for her most recent win.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Clarinda should be sitting just off a hot pace in the Wayward Lass and deserves serious consideration.

Awesome Belle, who led into the stretch of the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes on the turf here in her last start, is one of several in the field who prefer to be on or near the lead from the start. She figures to be fitter for this race, her second start since October. Last season Awesome Belle ran off a string of four straight wins against stakes company on both the turf and main track at Calder.

The dark horse could be Fire Assay, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro and the $1.3 million earner Jostle. Fire Assay won her last start here while moving from turf to the main track and figures to get a stalking trip Saturday in her third start following a short layoff. She is trained by James Toner.