11/26/2009 12:00AM

Turbo Speed steps up at Philly Park


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.