05/09/2013 3:25PM

Arlington Park: Miz Ida steps down from stakes company for first time since 2011

Coady Photography/Keeneland
Miz Ida, who won a division of the Grade 3 Valley View last year, will make her 2013 debut in an allowance Saturday at Arlington.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Rain would be an unwelcome guest Saturday at Arlington, where the two best races are carded for grass.

The first of them is the featured third race, a third-level allowance also open to $80,000 claimers and headlined by Miz Ida, a Kentucky shipper trained by Steve Margolis making her 4-year-old debut. Miz Ida hasn’t started since November, and her connections – Margolis and the Klein family – surely hope to use Saturday’s comeback as a stepping-stone to stakes.

Miz Ida is 6 for 9 in grass races and a perfect 5 for 5 at Saturday’s one-mile distance. She won the LaCombe Memorial, the Indiana Distaff, the Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf, and a division of the Grade 3 Valley View during a strong 2012 campaign. She finished fifth in her 2012 finale, the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere, a race won by the standout filly Centre Court, and in which Miz Ida had a difficult trip after breaking from post 11.

Miz Ida, a closer, should get a decent setup barring scratches and might need pace help to run down the Arlington-loving Katie the Lady. A 7-year-old also making her seasonal debut, Katie the Lady has four wins, four seconds, and a third from 10 Arlington turf races, and her ample early speed has proven a good match for the course. She’s well drawn outside the race’s other pace and could easily lead all the way if permitted to set a comfortable tempo.

Also set to make her 4-year-old debut is La Tia, who won the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks last summer. Another front-runner, La Tia is far more proven on synthetic surfaces than grass and would find her best chance if Saturday’s races are rained onto the main track. Handled last year by Brian Williamson, she makes her first start for trainer Armando de la Cerda.

Race 5, a second-level turf allowance open to $40,000 claimers and carded for 1 1/16 miles, has a deeper field than the higher-level race but also lacks the stakes-quality performers in the earlier race.

Rounding out the open-allowance action on the card is race 7, a first-level Polytrack sprint allowance that includes a 4-year-old gelding named Work All Week. Sixth last fall while racing two turns on turf in his career debut, Work All Week won both his starts this year at the Hawthorne meet, and a 12 1/4-length win in an Illinois-bred allowance race April 19 produced a graded-stakes-class Beyer Speed Figure of 101. Work All Week has yet to try Polytrack, however, and could wind up part of a hot pace, making him vulnerable, stakes-class figure or not.