08/15/2012 3:32PM

Arlington Park: Marketing Mix goes into Beverly D. dogged by one poor outing

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Coady Photography/Keeneland
It was a poor showing by Marketing Mix in the Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile that has some handicappers wondering.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – If not for one untimely clunker, there seems little doubt that Marketing Mix would be a standout favorite Saturday in the Beverly D. at Arlington Park. But a head-scratching fourth-place finish in the Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile on the May 5 Kentucky Derby undercard stands out on her past performances, and not in a good way. Otherwise, the 4-year-old Ontario-bred filly has been a whirlwind of success, winning six times and finishing second in a Grade 1 race in her other seven turf tries.

“I think the ground was a little too soft for her Derby Day,” said Julien Leparoux, perhaps ignoring the fact the filly came back to win over soft ground at Woodbine in her next start. “They got the jump on us that day, too. That’s it, really.”

Tom Proctor, who trains Marketing Mix for the Glen Hill Farm, had expressed trepidation the filly would bounce in the Churchill race off a terrific comeback win in a Keeneland allowance 24 days beforehand, and those fears were confirmed. Proctor is more assured this time around that the six weeks since Marketing Mix won the Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine will make for a smoother turnaround.

“The filly’s doing awful well,” said Proctor.

Still, the Churchill misstep remains food for cautious thought among handicappers, and it’s why Marketing Mix figures as only a lukewarm choice at best when Leparoux, in from Saratoga, climbs aboard her for the sixth straight race. Marketing Mix was assigned post 8 as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the Grade 1, $750,000 Beverly D., for which entries were drawn Wednesday at the WGN Studios on the near northwest side of Chicago.

The two horses who figure closest to Marketing Mix in the wagering, Aruna and Joviality, got posts 7 and 10, respectively.

From the rail, this is the field of 10 fillies and mares for the 1 3/16-mile Beverly D.: Kapitale, I’m a Dreamer, Romacaca, Upperline, Mystical Star, Up, Aruna, Marketing Mix, Stars to Shine, and Joviality.