09/10/2013 2:00PM

Barretts at Fairplex: Madoffwiththemoney honest as they come


POMONA, Calif. – She may have been named after a convicted felon, but the honest filly Madoffwiththemoney has developed into one of the circuit’s most trustworthy California-bred sprinters.

Madoffwiththemoney races six furlongs Thursday at the Los Angeles County Fair, where the 4-year-old – named after investment swindler Bernie Madoff – is favored in the race-9 feature, a first-level optional claimer for California-bred fillies and mares.

Eight were entered in the sprint on a quiet Barretts at Fairplex card.

Madoffwiththemoney, whose 13 starts include 4 wins and 3 seconds, makes her first start for trainer Peter Miller and Rockingham Ranch, who claimed her from a runner-up finish in an open $32,000 claiming race Aug. 8 at Del Mar.

Madoffwiththemoney is dropping in class Thursday, even though her claim price is higher. Whereas her most recent start was against open company, the Thursday feature is restricted to statebreds.

Edwin Maldonado rides Madoffwiththemoney, a Tribal Rule filly who gives Miller and Rockingham a second consecutive shot at a feature-race win at Barretts. Their 2-year-old gelding Echo Zulu was the early favorite in the $50,000 C.B. Afflerbaugh scheduled for Wednesday.

The chief rival for Madoffwiththemoney is Distant Image, recent runner-up in an open $32,000 claiming route on turf at Del Mar.

Distant Image has won 5 of 27 and will be ridden by Kayla Stra. Her trainer, Vladimir Cerin, is due to emerge from an uncharacteristic two-month win drought during which 34 starters produced 9 seconds and 4 thirds.

Sassy Suances takes a significant drop in class from a second-level allowance and will keep the pace honest. A 3-for-8 daughter of Suances trained by Darrell Vienna, Sassy Suances will be ridden by Martin Pedroza.

J and S Express, 5 for 26 including a claiming-race win at the fair one year ago, will roll from behind under jockey Agapito Delgadillo. Vann Belvoir trains the 6-year-old mare.

Others in the field include starter allowance winner Goldilocks Planet, Luxuriance, Warren’s Internet, and comebacker Catch Lorraine.

◗ A pair of interesting Arabian stakes kick off the Thursday card. Race 1 is the $25,000 Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares in which Ms Dixie is favored.

Race 2 is the $30,000 Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Arabian Cup, a 1 1/16-mile race in which 9-year-old So Big Is Better is favored. So Big Is Better has won 22 races and $236,490 from 50 starts.