11/29/2007 12:00AM

Big-earner Mary Delaney loves this oval

EmailMany trainers who raced this fall at Keeneland and Churchill Downs spent much of the last week moving. In general, their best horses are shipping south to Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park, or Oaklawn Park, while the less capable ones will remain in Kentucky to race at Turfway Park.

That certainly holds true for trainer Eddie Kenneally, with at least one notable exception: Mary Delaney, a $300,000-earner who looks like the horse to beat in a full field of fillies and mares in the Saturday feature at Turfway, the 22nd running of the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural.

Mary Delaney "has proven she's a Polytrack horse," said Kenneally, who has split his stable down the middle, with 20 horses having made the trip this week to the Palm Meadows training center in south Florida, and another 20 being consolidated at Turfway in Florence, Ky.

Mary Delaney already has won two stakes, and 3 of 4 starts, at Turfway, where Polytrack racing began in September 2005. A Kentucky-bred 4-year-old by Hennessy, Mary Delaney won the Wishing Well Stakes last January, then came back with her top lifetime Beyer Speed Figure (100) when racing on 10 weeks' rest and winning the Queen Stakes on the March 24 Lane's End undercard.

Once again, Mary Delaney is returning from a moderate layoff (eight weeks), having last raced on Oct. 6, when she was fourth in the Grade 3 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland.

"She's trained good, and I expect her to run well," said Kenneally.

With Brian Hernandez Jr. to ride, Mary Delaney was assigned post 12 in the six-furlong Holiday Inaugural.

Her main rivals appear to be Miss A. Bomb (post 4), winner of the Gowell Stakes at Turfway last December and a stakes winner over the synthetic Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs in September; Fast Deal (post 5), a smart recent winner of a third-level allowance at Churchill for trainer D. Wayne Lukas; and Modjadji (post 7), a consistent Illinois-bred mare shipping in from Chicago for Christine Janks.

In all, 13 were entered, although only as many as 12 will start. New Dimension is drawn farthest outside as the lone also-eligible.

The Holiday Inaugural, the first of five $50,000 stakes at a holiday meet that runs through Dec. 31, is carded as the 10th of 12 Saturday races. Three allowances (races 6, 9, and 11) also are on tap. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.