12/18/2008 12:00AM

Call of a Lion has seen two-turn success


As the only horse in a field of six 2-year-old Maryland-bred fillies with more than a maiden victory on her resume and a win going around two turns, Call of a Lion appears to have a double advantage in Saturday's $50,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship at Laurel Park.

The restricted stakes, contested at a one-turn mile the past three years, has been lengthened to 1 1/16 miles, the distance from its inception in 1986 to 1993, when it was switched to 1 1/8 miles for 11 runnings.

Although she is based locally with trainer Charles Frock, Call of a Lion has made all four of her starts at Charles Town, where she defeated $25,000 maiden claimers going 4 1/2 furlongs and crushed second-level allowance rivals in a 6 1/2-furlong race that requires two turns on the West Virginia bullring.

On the down side, Call of a Lion apparently didn't beat much in her two wins. The fillies she beat are a collective 1 for 12 since then, none earning a Beyer Speed Figure higher than 47.

In fact, Call of a Lion's two winning Beyers of 55 and 54 are substantially short of the Beyer par of 76 for the last eight runnings of

the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship.

The two fillies who have come closest to the stakes par are Graceful Ginger and Queen of Song.

Queen of Song, based at the Fair Hill Training Center with trainer Mark Shuman, earned a 70 for her maiden sprint win at Delaware Park two races ago. Last time out, in her two-turn debut at Philadelphia Park, she was sixth of seven following a wide trip. The runner-up, Missunitednations, returned to win a first-level optional $75,000 claimer at Aqueduct last week.

Graceful Ginger, winless in five starts since clearing her maiden condition in August, ran well enough to earn a 73 Beyer two races ago over a sloppy track. In her only effort at a distance longer than six furlongs, she was a well-beaten fifth in the Maryland Million Lassie.

Miss Charm City, who would have been a short-priced favorite after winning all three of her races, including a pair of stakes, was withdrawn from consideration after she sustained a suspensory injury in her left front foot following a workout last Sunday. Trainer Carlos Garcia said he expects Miss Charm City to resume training in about 90 days.