08/02/2013 3:57PM

Arlington Park notes: Stephanie’s Kitten looks headed to Beverly D.

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Barbara D. Livingston
Stephanie’s Kitten will do all her major training for the Beverly D. at Saratoga.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Stephanie’s Kitten, one of the top older turf mares in the country, is likely to make her next start Aug.  17 in the Beverly D. Stakes despite having just raced July 27 in the Diana Stakes at Saratoga.

Bred and owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, and trained by Wayne Catalano, Stephanie’s Kitten appears to have come out of her third-place finish in the Diana in good condition. She returned to training on Tuesday, Catalano said, and is showing the right sort of signs to consider a relatively quick turnaround in the Beverly D. Stephanie’s Kitten typically has gotten more time between races, but won the Grade 1 Alcibiades in October 2011 off a three-week rest.

“Mr. Ramsey would like to run her in this race, and if the filly says the same thing, we’re here,” Catalano said.

Stephanie’s Kitten will do all her major training for the Beverly D. at Saratoga, where she has been based since mid-July. Catalano said she would travel to Arlington, where his main string resides, on a plane that will ferry East Coast shippers to Arlington Million Day stakes during the week before the races.

Stephanie’s Kitten, a 4-year-old, made her career debut in an Arlington main-track sprint two summers ago, finishing third, and won her second start here, a two-turn turf race that was her last start in Chicago. Stephanie’s Kitten began her 2013 season with wins in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill and in the Grade 1 Just a Game at Belmont, and her close, closing loss last weekend at Saratoga was on a par with those performances. Last of five behind a glacial early tempo, Stephanie’s Kitten and jockey John Velazquez rallied wide and came within a half-length of catching the victorious pacesetter, Laughing.

“I wasn’t disappointed in the filly at all,” Catalano said. “It was just the situation we were put in. Johnny said from the break he knew she was doomed.”

Marketing Mix due in from the West

The other top U.S.-based challenger for the Beverly D., Marketing Mix, will be shipping from the opposite side of the country. Based in Southern California since spring, Marketing Mix isn’t scheduled to fly to Arlington until Aug. 14, according to Tom Proctor, who trains the mare for Glen Hill Farm.

Proctor runs a string at Arlington, but has chosen to keep Marketing Mix going steadily with his West Coast division. Marketing Mix, all things being well, will return to her California base after her race in Chicago, and is likely to make the rest of her starts there this year, with her major late-season goal a race on the Breeders’ Cup program.

Marketing Mix, a 5-year-old, is expected to be retired to become a broodmare after this season, Proctor said.

Marketing Mix finished second in the Beverly D. last year and was second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. She has started her 2013 campaign with a pair of wins, capturing the Grade 1 Gamely in her season’s debut, and most recently winning the Sunset Handicap, beating males in her first try over 1 1/2 miles.

“She likes longer distances,” Proctor said. “I think that might even be her forte, and it brings some options up at the end of the year.”

Proctor also said he plans to start Temeraine, most recently second in the Arlington Handicap, in the Arlington Million.

Little Nip may be due

Sunday’s featured race comes early on the program, with a well matched group of seven filly-and-mare turf sprinters entered in race  2, a second-level allowance also open to $40,000 claimers.

Ultimate Class has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the five-furlong dash, but six of the seven entrants have a legitimate chance to win.

The horse who is overdue for a breakthrough is Little Nip, who could fall into a very favorable trip tracking the speed of Ultimate Class and Taty’s Gold from her outside post position. Little Nip finished a close fourth in her most recent start while facing third-level allowance foes and $80,000 claimers, and she has a pair of seconds and a third from three 2013 starts at this class level.

Jockey E.T. Baird will try to boot her home and give trainer Paul Darjean his first winner of the Arlington season.