05/13/2003 11:00PM

The Very One: Forest Heiress switches to turf


Forest Heiress won the Sorority Stakes at 2, has faced the best female sprinters on dirt throughout her career, and comes off a runaway victory in a classified allowance race at Keeneland on April 18. That makes her the most accomplished runner in the $75,000 The Very One Stakes at Pimlico.

Forest Heiress, however, has yet to race on the turf, a surface she will try for the first time Friday. That alone makes her an interesting betting proposition. Because of her past form, she should be a short price. But because of the question about whether she will take to grass, she will be a better price than had this race been on dirt.

Wednesday, Forest Heiress had her job made slightly easier. Full Spectrum, who won the Mamzelle Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 1, was scratched from The Very One. That took out one of the main rivals to Forest Heiress, and allowed Forest Heiress to move in one slot from her original draw in post 12.

The scratch also enabled Oh Say Vicki, a longshot, to get in from the also-eligible list.

Maria's Mirage has shipped in from California for red-hot trainer Doug O'Neill. She was a front-running winner of the Woodside Handicap at Bay Meadows on April 20 last time out. She, however, will face plenty of challengers for the early lead.

Repository was fifth as the favorite in the Mamzelle, but was compromised by a wide trip. She won the Stravinsky Stakes at Keeneland in her prior start, and is a legitimate threat on her best.

Maypole Dancer was second in The Very One last year. She usually has wicked early speed, but was rated in her comeback race on April 23, so she may try to get a stalking trip, which might suit her better considering the probable pace in this field.