Svea Dahl Stretches Out for Turnback the Alarm

The days of training a five-horse stable filled with cheap claimers are over for conditioner Bruce Levine.

These days, there isn't an empty stall in Levine's barn Belmont Park, where he just completed an extremely successful Fall Championship Meet, compiling a 12-8-5 record from 40 starters.

On Sunday, Levine hopes Svea Dahl can keep the good fortunes going when the 5-year-old mare meets seven rivals in the $100,000-added Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III). The 1 1/8-mile race marks Svea Dahl's Aqueduct debut.

Since arriving in Levine's barn this summer, Svea Dahl has been a gem of consistency, compiling two wins and a pair of seconds from four starts. She stretched out from six furlongs to a mile in her last start - a 2 ΒΌ-length win in a third-level allowance at Belmont Park - with no problem.

"I couldn't wait to run her long," Levine said. "I had wanted to do it sooner than we did, but none of the races filled. She's a long striding, lanky mare. She's by Honor Grades and most of his offspring like to run

Svea Dahl, who drew post 3 under jockey Richard Migliore, has never started at nine furlongs and is winless in a pair of starts around two turns.

"She's better now than she was when she tried two turns out in California," Levine said. "She deserves a shot in there. She's in good form, it's a Grade 3 stake and there aren't any monsters in there."

Svea Dahl, a five-time winner in 2002, was a $62,500 claim by owner Roddy Valente in late June at Hollywood Park. It certainly looks like money well spent.

Trainer Mark Hennig saddles a trio of fillies - With Ability, Mystic Lady and Unrestrained - in the Turnback the Alarm. With Ability carries 118 pounds and looks the strongest entrant from the barn.

A 4-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy, With Ability spent the first two seasons of her career sprinting with a good amount of success in graded stakes. Since switching to route racing, however, she has taken her game to the next level.

With Ability owns graded stakes wins in Aqueduct's Next
Move and Sportsman Park's Sixty Sails this year. She enters the Turnback the Alarm unraced in the last eight weeks.

"We've spaced her races out all year long," Hennig said. "We planned to give her a little break."

With Ability, who looks fast enough to control the pace, has won two of three starts over Aqueduct's main track. Jockey Javier Castellano has the ride. With Ability is owned by Edward Evans and will be coupled with Unrestrained in the wagering.

Unrestrained ran fourth in this race last year at 3-1. She will attempt to rebound off a near 20-length defeat in Belmont Park's Beldame (gr. I), her last race.

"We're getting her back into a better spot," Hennig said. "She was just outclassed in the Beldame. I think we took her out of her game, too. She's a free-running filly and we tried to take her way back off the pace. It didn't work out. She hated it.

"She's had a decent year and I think she's better than she was last year at this time."

Evans' Unrestrained breaks from the rail under jockey Aaron Gryder.

Although her 4-year-old form is a shade of what it was last season, Mystic Lady looks like a win candidate nonetheless. Owned by Lee Lewis, Mystic Lady enters the Turnback the Alarm on the heels of a third-place finish to superhorse Azeri in Santa Anita's Lady's Secret (gr. II).

Mystic Lady, a millionaire and the leading money earner in the field, is the 119-pound high weight under jockey John Velazquez.

$100,000 Turnback the Alarm (gr. III), 1 1/8 mile, fillies & mares, 3 & up
1a Unrestrained, Aaron Gryder, 113
2 Forest Princess, Jose Santos, 113
3 Svea Dahl, Richard Migliore, 112
4 Mystic Lady, John Velazquez, 119
5 Critical Eye, Mike Luzzi, 115
6 Along Came Mary, Shaun Bridgmohan, 112
7a With Ability, Javier Castellano, 118
8 Shiny Band, Edgar Prado, 115