Updated on 09/17/2011 11:09AM

Tweedside relishes sloppy going


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Tweedside went from the role of underdog to the 6-5 favorite after heavy showers forced Sunday's off the turf then made the most of her opportunity, drawing off to an easy 5 1-2 length victory over San Dare in the Grade 2 event.

San Dare would have been the heavy favorite to win the 1 1-2 mile Orchid if the race stayed on the grass. But the switch to the sloppy main track played into the hands of Tweedside who had already won the Grade 1 Coaching Club America Oaks at the same distance on the dirt during her 3-year-old campaign and the Sands Point Handicap by six lengths in her only previous wet track appearance.

Tweedside used the same stalking strategy that proved so successful in the CCA Oaks, attending the early pace of Amelia during the opening mile of the Orchid before taking command on the final turn and easily pulling away from San Dare through the stretch. San Dare, who had won the Grade 3 Honey Fox and The Very One handicaps on the grass earlier in the meet, had to steady briefly while advancing to contention down the backstretch, took another run at Tweeside around the final turn but proved no match for the winner through the stretch.

Hi Tech Honeycomb finished another five lengths back in third followed by Spice Island, Flying Marlin, Amelia and Queue.

Tweedside returned $4.40 after covering the distance in 2:32.36 seconds under Rene Douglas. She is trained by Todd Pletcher for owners Eugene and Laura Melnyk.

"It didn't hurt our feelings any when the race came off the turf although I thought she would have run big even if it had stayed on the grass," said Pletcher who also won Aqueduct's Next Move Handicap with Smok' N Frolic later the same afternoon. "Our biggest concern was that she doesn't want to make the lead too soon, she gets a little idle and let's up a bit when she does, and I was glad she had a target to run at on the lead."

Rick Hiles, who trains San Dare, acknowledged the change in venue hurt his mare's chances of winning her third straight stakes.

"She can't sustain her run the same way on dirt as she does on grass although I can't take anything away from the winner," said Hiles. "She's already proven herself going this distance in Grade 1 races and in the mud. My only complaint is the fact management waited so long before deciding to takes the race off the turf. I didn't even have a chance to change shoes and put some toe grabs on her."