11/26/2009 12:00AM

Turbo Speed steps up at Philly Park

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Turbo Speed, unbeaten and untested in his two starts, steps up to stakes company and stretches out beyond six furlongs for the first time in Saturday's $75,000 Pennsylvania Nursery at Philadelphia Park.

The seven-furlong Nursery, restricted to Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings, drew a field of six.

Based at Penn National with trainer T. Bernard Houghton, Turbo Speed wheels back 15 days after romping by seven lengths in a first-level allowance at his home track. The 83 Beyer Speed Figure he earned is by far the best last-race figure in Saturday's field.

El Rocco, from the high-percentage New York barn of Bruce Levine, was the beaten odds-on favorite in his last two starts. But the last time he sprinted on a fast track, El Rocco was third in the Grade 3 Sapling at Monmouth, recording an 81 Beyer that would make him a major threat to Turbo Speed.

In his last two starts, El Rocco was up close at the stretch call of the 1 1/16-mile Dover at Delaware Park and a nonthreatening third over a sloppy track in the six-furlong Finger Lakes Juvenile.

The intriguing value play might be the maiden Shellback. Although still winless after two starts, Shellback shows two good races over the track, including a near-miss going seven furlongs in his career debut in September.

Significantly, Shellback adds blinkers for his first start in six weeks and shortens up slightly in distance after a neck loss going a mile and 70 yards. Trainer Tony Dutrow is 5 for 12 (42 percent) with horses switching from routes to sprints and racing with blinkers for the first time, according to DRF's Formulator.

In addition, Shellback gets a significant rider shift to Mario Pino. Since relocating his tack to Philly Park a couple months ago, Pino has gone 12 for 26 (46 percent) riding for Dutrow.