02/25/2008 1:00AM

Baroness Thatcher out to build confidence


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Baroness Thatcher was Grade 1 stakes-placed three times as a 3-year-old last year. Surprisingly, she has also gone winless for nearly the past 14 months, a situation that trainer Bill Mott will attempt to rectify when dropping Baroness Thatcher into allowance company in Wednesday's feature at Gulfstream Park.

Baroness Thatcher will face seven seemingly overmatched rivals going seven furlongs in the $43,000 race. She will be making her 15th career start but the first since being moved into Mott's barn following her fourth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. A daughter of Joannanesburg owned by Zayat Stables, Baroness Thatcher began her career with Dale Romans and then spent her 3-year-old campaign with Patrick Biancone, who is serving a suspension levied by the Kentucky Racing Commission just prior to the 2007 Breeders' Cup.

Baroness Thatcher has not won since capturing Santa Anita's Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes for Biancone in her 3-year-old debut in early January 2007. However, she proved a major player in the division throughout the remainder of the season, finishing second in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes, second beaten a nose by Eclipse Award winner Maryfield in the Grade 1 Ballerina, and third in the Grade 1 Test. She also had to take up fairly sharply near the quarter pole in the Breeders' Cup, losing her best chance.

"I got her right after the Breeders' Cup, gave her some time off, and she's trained well for her return," Mott said. "Hopefully, we can get her back on the winning track and maybe get some confidence back by putting her in this allowance race, and, if all goes well, then we'll probably be looking at the Shirley Jones here next month."

The Grade 2 Shirley Jones will be decided at seven furlongs on March 22.

While Baroness Thatcher does own a decided class advantage, she will face several talented fillies, including Looky Yonder and the undefeated Mama Got Even.

Like Baroness Thatcher, Looky Yonder is a daughter of Johannesburg and also changed barns for her 4-year-old campaign. She's now under the care of trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. Looky Yonder returned from a seven-month layoff to finish third as the 6-5 favorite under similar allowance conditions here Jan. 9.