08/31/2012 12:40PM

Arlington: Maude S. would benefit if turf feature moved to Polytrack


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The remnants of Hurricane Isaac could affect Arlington’s featured race on Sunday.

Race 7, a third-level optional $80,000 claimer for fillies and mares, is carded for about one mile on turf, but with the scattered bits of Isaac forecast to wander into the Chicago area this weekend, turf races could easily wind up on the main track.

Such a move would very much alter the complexion of the Sunday feature. At the crux of the situation sits Maude S., a proven synthetic-surface runner who failed to impress in her lone previous start on turf. The Jim DiVito-trained Maude S., whom owner Jim Miller bought for just $8,500 at auction, made her most recent start June 30, finishing a solid second of eight in the Grade 3 Chicago Handicap, a seven-furlong Polytrack race. In her previous start, Maude S. raced for a $100,000 claiming option in a Polytrack allowance and won a seven-furlong race by six lengths. Sunday’s feature, should it be moved to the main track, would be contested over a one-turn mile.

“I think she’s a proven runner on the synthetic, and I’d prefer it came off, but we’ll probably stay in if the race is on turf,” DiVito said.

If the race remains on turf, a pace battle could be brewing between Love This Kitten and Katie the Lady, though Katie the Lady should get the better of her front-end rival. Love This Kitten, whose best races have come when she opens a big early lead, is drawn inside Katie the Lady, who appears to have slightly more quality than Love This Kitten. Katie the Lady raced three times in 2009 but didn’t start between October of that season and July 2011. Trainer Michele Boyce brought her back in a $7,500 maiden-claimer, which Katie the Lady easily won, and the mare has not seen a claiming race since then. In her eight post-long-layoff starts she has scored five wins and three seconds, and she most recently was the runner-up in the female division of the $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes.

Starry Eyed Kate rallied solidly to win her most recent start, a second-level Arlington turf allowance, but all that performance really did was flatter Katie the Lady, who had finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Starry Eyed Kate when they met earlier in the meet.