04/08/2007 11:00PM

Affinity for Polytrack gives Mary Delaney an edge

Pat Lang/Lang Photography
Mary Delaney faces tougher in the Grade 2 Madison after winning the Queen at Turfway.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Eddie Kenneally seems to have pushed all the right buttons the last couple of years.

As the trainer of a public stable since 1993, Kenneally was merely making ends meet until 2005, when his stable earnings of slightly more than $900,000 nearly doubled his previous high. Then, last year, his stable earned $1.78 million, nearly doubling the previous year.

And that's not all. Kenneally recently returned from the United Arab Emirates, where his stable star, Kelly's Landing, won the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 31. That rich victory promises to jump-start Kenneally toward yet another all-time high during 2007, and the 40-year-old Irish-born trainer said he is ecstatic about the direction in which his 35-horse stable is headed.

Wednesday, Kenneally will be at Keeneland to saddle Mary Delaney, one of the major contenders in the featured eighth race, the Grade 2, $200,000 Madison Stakes. This past winter, Mary Delaney was the most accomplished horse that Kenneally left behind in Kentucky while he oversaw his first string at the Palm Meadows training center in south Florida.

Mary Delaney earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in her last race, a 3 3/4-length victory in the Queen Stakes on the March 24 Lane's End Stakes undercard at Turfway Park.

"She's an improving filly, and she just keeps getting better," said Kenneally, who won 14 races from just 36 starters at the Turfway winter-spring meet. "This is a graded race, though, and I'm anxious to see how that works out."

Mary Delaney may have an edge over her 10 filly and mare rivals in that she has repeatedly shown a fondness for Polytrack, having amassed a record of 5 for 7 over it. The Madison will be run at seven furlongs over Polytrack.

"She was good enough to take to Florida, but she likes Polytrack so much we thought she could win a couple of stakes at Turfway, and she did," said Kenneally.

Mary Delaney was ridden in the Queen by Edgar Prado, who has accepted a return call for Wednesday.

Maybe the strongest competition for Mary Delaney will come from Leah's Secret, who won the Grade 2 Raven Run over the Keeneland Polytrack last fall. Leah's Secret, trained by Helen Pitts, will be looking to rebound off disappointing finishes in back-to-back Grade 2 events, the Barbara Fritchie and Shirley Jones handicaps.

Fringe players include Bright Abundance, a two-turn turf specialist trying something different for Christophe Clement, and the Bobby Frankel-trained Ginger Punch.