03/04/2008 12:00AM

Upcoming Story seeks rebound


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - None of the fillies and mares that will meet Upcoming Story in Thursday's Oaklawn Park feature can match her company lines. Upcoming Story was third in a pair of Grade 3 stakes last summer at Churchill Downs, and among the fillies who beat her was the Grade 1 winner Lady Joanne.

Those credentials, coupled with a legitimate excuse for her defeat as the favorite in her most recent start, make her a top contender in the six-furlong first-level allowance. Other runners of note in the field include Undercover Angel, a maiden winner last out while making her first start since February 2007, and Pretty Girl Slew, who leads all starters with nine wins.

Upcoming Story won her maiden at Keeneland last April in her second start and proceeded to run third by 1 3/4 lengths to Silverinyourpocket in the Grade 3 La Troienne in May. She then was third in the Grade 3 Dogwood, beaten 3 3/4 lengths by the winner, Lady Joanne, who one start later was second in the Grade 1 Mother Goose and later won the Grade 1 Alabama.

Upcoming Story's first start since that June race came in a first-level allowance at Oaklawn on Jan. 21, and she finished an uncharacteristic 10th. Ginger Bay, the wire-to-wire winner, came back to finish in a dead heat for first in the $50,000 Spring Fever at Oaklawn, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 99.

Upcoming Story was scoped after her comeback race and was found to have bled, according to trainer Bob Holthus. For her second start of the year, she has turned in three strong works, among them a bullet three furlongs in 35.20 seconds here Feb. 28 and a five-furlong move in 1:01.60 on Feb. 21.

"We've tried to get her straightened out, and hopefully she'll go back to her original form," Holthus said. "She's a nice-going filly and she trains well and does everything right."

Upcoming Story, a 4-year-old daughter of Tale of the Cat and the multiple Group 3-winning mare Old Star, will break from post 2 under Calvin Borel.

"She definitely comes from off the pace sprinting," said Holthus, who trains Upcoming Story for Lewis Lakin.

Undercover Angel draws the rail once again after winning her maiden from the 1-hole here Feb. 14. Luis Quinonez has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen.