Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Maywood Anyone?

We're hoping that a change of venue can spice up I Am Woman a bit this week. She's heads across Chicago to take on $8,000 claimers that are non-winners of 3 races or $9,000 lifetime at Maywood Park Thursday night. We're heading out of town Saturday morning for a week of family visits and trade shows or I would have taken the ride down to check out the place and the race. I absolutely love going to venues for the first time and checking out all the nooks and crannies, trying the food and just generally taking in the ambiance of a new racetrack (or get the picture). Travel Channel take note - you need someone to travel around and report on sporting venues around the country and the world? I am SO your guy!

I have a bit of trepidation as she heads across town. She seems to handle the mile tracks pretty well. Her 2009 has been split between the Meadowlands and Balmoral Park, both nice wide mile ovals. As a two year old she started her career at the Historic Track at Goshen which is a half mile track like Maywood in a non-wagering event. She blew the turns. Hated the tight cornering. She finished up the track behind 32 lengths. Her first pari-mutuel effort wasn't much better on the 5/8 of a mile Pocono Downs track. Last by 28. As I've mentioned before, she was an immature and smallish two year old and had some trouble starting her career. After her layoff and birthday, she came west to Balmoral and reeled off three straight wins, third by a half length (scoping sick afterwards) and then second after a horrendous trip. Her last outing, up one level (same as this group) she finished a very flat 6th. She seemed to be well positioned, but had no kick in the stretch. No real excuses.

Now she's at Maywood, Brandon Simpson is back in the bike and we're trying the half mile. As a more mature, but still smallish filly she figures to handle it much better this time around. Horses, like people, can't always be their best and now it's time to find out if our filly's last was a fluke or a pattern.

Here's how the field shapes up:

1. OG's Tonya P - She's been smoked in every qualifier and in her '09 debut here. Doesn't really figure.

2. So Stylish - 3-1 second choice in the ML, she'll be on the engine tonight. She scratched sick last week but is back in now. She could take this field all the way around.

3. Mattjestic Help - Just qualifying back after some breaking issues, she hasn't shown much at all in '09 but is dropping in class here.

4. Cole By A Nose - 2009 started out well with 2 consecutive seconds, but since then it's been up the track.

5. Rosedale Jenny - 5/2 ML favorite she comes off a sharp win that moved her into NW3 company and seems to prefer the tighter turns of Maywood to Balmoral. If So Stylish falters, Rosedale Jenny will be the one trying to pick up the pieces.

6. Crimes of Passion - Hasn't shown much since dropping into this class and she gets shifted to an outside post. Unlikely.


8. Cole Cutta - A legitimate threat from the inside, she hasn't shown much from the far outside.

Our gal has her work cut out for her in this one. Starting from the 7 hole is tough on a half miler and the stretch isn't near as long for a rally like she's had in her three victories. We'll see how she handles the turns and the denser traffic. She's capable of winning it - and it's turning point time - but she'll have some obstacles to overcome.

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