09/10/2009 12:00AM

Top pair return for stakes prep


The past two winners of the West Virginia Dash for Cash Breeders Classic will begin their quest to get back to that rich stakes when they return from long layoffs in Saturday night's $50,000 It's Only Money Stakes at Charles Town.

The 4 1/2-furlong It's Only Money is a prep for the Oct. 17 Breeders Classics program, which is worth a record $2 million. Both the It's Only Money and the Breeders Classics stakes are restricted to West Virginia-breds.

Missacity Luke cruised by three lengths in the 2007 running of the Dash for Cash and lost to Rhythmic Moves by a nose in last year's edition.

Now 8, Missacity Luke has not raced since finishing third in a fourth-level allowance against open company in early April. He also will be making his first start since coming to trainer Amy Albright's barn.

The 6-year-old Rhythmic Moves has been off even longer than Missacity Luke. He has been idle since Dec. 12.

Based on his best-of-32 four-furlong workout in 47.60 seconds on Sept. 4, Rhythmic Moves appears sharp for his comeback, although bettors should be aware that his trainer, James W. Casey, is 0 for 14 with runners returning from layoffs of 180 days or more the past two seasons.

One other layoff horse who could threaten the two logical favorites is Blues in the Night. Beaten only a neck in last fall's $112,000 Onion Juice on Breeders Classics night, Blues in the Night won his first try at 4 1/2 furlongs on June 19 but is unraced since then. Notably, trainer John Carlisle is 5 for 6 with runners returning from a break of 61 to 180 days the last two years.

A pair of 3-year-olds, Nay's Tap and Gabriel's Smile, also look dangerous.

Nay's Tap is 2 for 2 in his career, including a win worth an 81 Beyer Speed Figure that is the best last-out figure in Saturday's field.

Gabriel's Smile has been off the board in his last three races, all against open stakes company. The last time he faced statebreds, Gabriel's Smile romped by 9 1/2 lengths and earned an 88 Beyer.