04/04/2005 11:00PM

Turf sprints offer world of options


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - With Northern outfits clearing out of town in droves and the major stakes done for the season, turf races of all distances and class denominations will likely dominate the final two and a half weeks of the 2005 Gulfstream Park meet. Such will be the case Thursday, with a trio of five-furlong dashes for entry-level allowance runners on the card.

Split divisions of a $33,000 event for colts and geldings go as the fourth and sixth races of the day. Neither of those co-featured races has a standout in the field, nor is there a previous grass winner in either division, so they should make for a couple of interesting betting races.

The first split could come down to whether runs to his grass breeding when he makes both his turf and 3-year-old debut. Trained by Graham Motion, T.D. Vance is a son of Rahy out of the Danzig mare Freedom of Speech, whose lone offspring to win on grass did so over the hurdles. T.D. Vance himself was an impressive debut winner on dirt last fall at Delaware Park and has trained extremely well over the Palm Meadows grass course, with a pair of near-bullet works at the training center on his resume.

is the most experienced and accomplished member of the field on grass, having made four starts over the surface, with a pair of second-place finishes to show for those efforts, including a near-miss to Grade 3 stakes winner Lord Robyn on Dec. 4 at Calder. In his last start, on Jan. 29 here, Starship Zim was beaten only two lengths by the two-time stakes-placed Tadreeb despite being fanned extremely wide into the stretch while racing with blinkers on for the first time.

has the speed to be dangerous if he takes to the grass, as does Fuller, who is by the Irish-bred sire World Stage, a son of the world-class turf specialist Sadler's Wells.

The second division may be even more wide open. , a son of Wekiva Springs, will be the likely favorite even though he has yet to run on grass. Now trained by Bill Mott, whose first-time turf runners win at a solid 22 percent rate, Hole in the Head has the best main-track form in the field and is coming off a good fourth-place finish against a strong field of first-level allowance rivals here March 5.

Those looking to beat the favorite may try Avie's d'Light, Silver Moose, or the speedy Platinum Crown.

is one of only two members of the lineup to have previously hit the board on turf, finishing third in a $40,000 claiming race last fall at Calder.

is by an above-average turf sire, Concorde's Tune, and displayed some promise in his only previous grass outing, contesting the early pace before fading to fifth against high-priced claiming opposition here earlier in the session.