04/30/2009 11:00PM

What a Pear gets back to dirt


ELMONT, N.Y. - What a Pear, who began her career with four straight victories on Aqueduct's inner dirt track before a last-place finish on Polytrack in Keeneland's Grade 1 Ashland Stakes, will try to bounce back in Sunday's $100,000 Bouwerie Stakes on the Belmont Park dirt.

What a Pear is the 2-1 morning-line choice against eight other 3-year-old New York-bred fillies, including the Karakorum Farm entry of Yo Karakorum (trained by Jeff Odintz) and Karakorum Fugitive (trained by Jimmy Jerkens), and the Tom Bush-trained duo of Ouchy Night and More Oats Please, who are uncoupled.

If What a Pear does indeed start as the favorite in the seven-furlong race, it will be the first time. She was 8-1 for her debut win at six furlongs back in December; 4-1 against first-level allowance rivals in January; and second choice in the wagering for back-to-back wins against open company in the Wistful and Busher stakes in February.

What a Pear won the Busher by better than 10 lengths and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 93. On the strength of that performance, she was installed as the 5-1 second choice in the Ashland, but faded steadily after racing within striking range to the top of the stretch on the Polytrack surface.

"Some horses do like that track, and some don't," said What a Pear's trainer, Joe Parker. "I think it was the track, but I can tell you more about that after this race."

What a Pear has been running in two-turn races her last four starts, and will be sprinting for the first time since her debut.

"A good horse can go any distance for you," said Parker. "I think cutting back to seven furlongs could be the right move. Right now, she's doing super good."

The 32nd running of the seven-furlong Bouwerie also attracted Ampart Ridge, who comes off a good-figure allowance win for Gary Contessa nine days ago; Goodday, who is unraced since winning the Vichy Stakes at Saratoga last summer in her first start for Rick Dutrow; Sapphire Sky, who set the pace and finished second to What a Pear in the Wistful Stakes for Dave Donk; and La Concerto, who has won two of her last three, all for Steve Asmussen.

Ouchy Night was beaten three-quarters of a length by Goodday in the Vichy, and ran second in the Joseph A. Gimma by the same margin in her final start at 2.