05/12/2010 12:00AM

Worstcasescenario set to fire


BALTIMORE - With a sharp comeback race last month and a favorable draw, Worstcasescenario looks like one of the main players in the $70,000 Hilltop Stakes, the 13th and final race on the marathon Friday card at Pimlico.

The Hilltop, for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on turf, drew 11 runners, with Worstcasescenario landing the rail.

"It's a good spot," her trainer, Rick Violette, said Wednesday morning from New York. "She can go, but if someone wants to get silly, she can sit."

Worstcasescenario set the pace in her last start, the Boynton Beach Stakes at Gulfstream, before getting caught late in the one-mile grass race. That was her first start in five months following a tumultuous

2-year-old campaign that included a victory in the Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga and dull efforts in the Matron and Tempted stakes.

She got time off for "feet and lungs," Violette said.

"Her feet were just crippling her," Violette said. "There were no quarter cracks, but she was very, very sore. We had to stop on her."

The main rivals for Worstcasescenario appear to be Joharmony, who is coming off a win against a second-level allowance field at Keeneland, and Potosina, a stakes winner last year who is making her first start of 2010.

Joharmony is seeking her fourth straight victory.

Potosina could benefit from a rain-softened course. She won the Good Mood at Belmont on soft going last fall before finishing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, her last start.

Skipat: Sweet Goodbye can rebound

Sweet Goodbye finished a well-beaten second to Pinkarella as the 4-5 favorite in the $250,000 Sugar Maple Stakes at Charles Town on April 17. She had a pretty good excuse.

"She flipped over in the paddock and knocked the wind out of herself before she ran, so I don't think she gave us her best effort," trainer Chris Grove said Wednesday. "Plus, I thought the winner ran a great race."

Sweet Goodbye, a winner of 10 of 15 starts, will seek her eighth stakes win when she heads an 11-horse field entered in the $70,000 Skipat Stakes at six furlongs. This will be Sweet Goodbye's second start at six furlongs. In January, she won the What a Summer Stakes at six furlongs. In that race, Sweet Goodbye stalked the pace from third before beating Royale Michele, the 2009 Barbara Fritchie winner. Sweet Goodbye came back to win the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie in February.

Sweet Goodbye has proved equally proficient from on or off the pace. There appears to be considerable speed in this field for Sweet Goodbye to stalk from post 2 under J. D. Acosta.

"Right now you don't want to be too far off the rail at Pimlico," Grove said. "She's going to lay close."

Rightly So, a New York-bred daughter of Read the Footnotes who has won 5 of 8 starts, makes her third start off a layoff after finishing third in the Broadway and second in the Indistinctly Stakes. This is her first start against open company.

Beware of the Bop has won 11 of 18 starts and returns to face females after finishing second to Russell Road in the Springtime Handicap against males at Charles Town.

- David Grening

Jim McKay: Old geldings look fresh

Heros Reward and Smart Enough are a lot alike. They're aging Maryland-based geldings who have enjoyed outstanding careers by specializing in turf sprints, having accounted for more than $1.9 million in earnings between them.

They also will be trying to make successful returns from layoffs when they clash among a field of 12 in the $70,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint, the eighth race on the card.

Heros Reward "usually runs well when he's fresh," trainer Dale Capuano said. "Last year he won the Shakertown at Keeneland off the same kind of layoff, and I think it really took a lot out of him for the rest of the year. This year we decided to wait for the Pimlico race where we don't have to ship, and it looks like a good spot to get him started."

Smart Enough has been consistent for trainer John R.S. Fisher, posting a 12-4-4 record from 22 career starts. He not only runs well off a layoff, but pretty much at any time.

Heros Reward will have Javier Castellano aboard and breaks from post 8 in the five-furlong McKay. Smart Enough gets Jeremy Rose from post 7.

- Marty McGee

The Very One: Tough field of 14

If Todd Pletcher wants to take his mind off the Preakness for a minute or so, he could always watch a horse race. Specifically, he can watch Starfish Bay represent the powerhouse stable as one of the favorites in a very competitive group of filly-mare turf sprinters Friday in the $70,000 The Very One Stakes, which goes as race 6.

Starfish Bay comes off a sixth-place finish in a rugged renewal of the Grade 3 Churchill Downs Turf Sprint, in which she pressed a swift pace against male rivals. Before that, she earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure in defeating stablemate West Ocean, a return winner, in a Gulfstream Park stakes.

To rebound and prevail under John Velazquez, Starfish Bay most likely will have to contend with a trio of Linda Rice mares - Ahvee's Destiny, Canadian Ballet, and Lady Rizzi - all of whom race as separate wagering interests in the field of 14.

Three horses - Rate of Exchange, Don'tgetsuspicious, and Mikeslittlegirl - are cross-entered in the Skipat Stakes later on the Friday card but were expected to stay in this race, assuming suitable turf conditions.

- Marty McGee