03/09/2006 12:00AM

Conniver favorite on a win streak


Promenade Girl must face a mare who upset Eclipse Award winner Ashado last year but should still be favored to secure her fourth consecutive victory in Saturday's $75,000 Conniver Stakes at Laurel Park.

The seven-furlong Conniver, restricted to Maryland-bred fillies and mares, drew a field of eight.

Although the 5-year-old Silmaril boasts six stakes victories, including a three-quarter-length decision over Ashado in last spring's Grade 3 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap, the fact that she's returning from a seven-month layoff following two poor performances will probably inflate her odds and create an extremely short price on Promenade Girl.

A 4-year-old trained by Larry Murray, Promenade Girl is 6 for 9 lifetime, including a 4-for-5 mark at Laurel. She has been favored in each of her last six races - including four times at less than even-money - and won five times.

also moves from open company into a restricted stakes after winning the one-mile Nellie Morse in late January. She's 2 for 3 in Maryland-bred stakes.

In addition to her win over Ashado, was good enough to finish within 2 1/4 lengths of winner Bank Audit in the Grade 2 Distaff Breeders' Cup, a seven-furlong race at Aqueduct, in March 2005. She hasn't raced since her form soured last summer in the Delaware Handicap and the Lady's Secret at Monmouth, and the distance of this race may be a little short for her.

"The Conniver might not be her best distance - but she's won a stakes at seven furlongs before," said trainer Chris Grove. "The race versus Ashado took a lot out of her. She ran her eyeballs out. Following that, she made a big move in the Delaware Handicap and ended up ninth. Maybe 1 1/4 miles was too far for her. After she threw in a clunker at Monmouth, I decided to stop on her. We didn't find anything wrong with her. She was just tired out from a busy spring of racing."

Much like Silmaril, has been off for several months. She proved she can fire fresh when she won her first start in more than 14 months in a one-mile race at Delaware Park last July 4.