08/09/2007 12:00AM

Ethan's Car can turn it around


Though winless in her last five starts, Ethan's Car is the standout among eight 3-year-old fillies entered in the restricted $50,000 Twixt Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday.

Trained by Richard Small, Ethan's Car has run in four open stakes in her last five starts, getting two seconds and a third. The Twixt, a one-mile race restricted to Maryland-bred 3-year-old fillies, is a sharp class drop for the Cat Thief filly, who is out of the Broad Brush mare Broad Gains.

In her last start, Ethan's Car posted a 90 Beyer Speed Figure when finishing second behind Exchanging Fire in the $60,000 Serena's Song Stakes at Monmouth Park. The Serena's Song was run at one mile and 70 yards around two turns, whereas the Twixt will be run around only one turn.

Ethan's Car's last win was in an open first-level allowance race at Laurel Park on March 29, also run at the one-turn mile. She won by four lengths while being credited with a Beyer Speed Figure of 81.

On paper, Maria's Golden Rose appears to be competitive with Ethan's Car, but the good form she has shown in her last four starts came in turf races. A 3-year-old Eastern Echo filly, Maria's Golden Rose made her turf debut on May 5 after a four-month layoff, and so her sharp improvement over her earlier dirt-track form could either be due to the surface change or maturity.

Paying Off comes off a two-month layoff, and appears to be much better at seven furlongs. She has three starts at the one-mile Twixt distance and has finished second and third. Her two wins from 15 starts have come at seven furlongs.

Anofficerandalady will start from post 8 and is the likely speed in the race. The Officer filly has never been farther than 6 1/2 furlongs in her career, and she has shown a tendency to wear down.

Welcome Inn will either run with Anofficerandalady or sit just off her pace. Welcome Inn, an Orientate filly trained by Graham Motion, won the restricted Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship last year, her third win in eight juvenile starts. She's had two disappointing starts this year.

The field is filled out by Songs Day at the rail, Bea Lucky Please, and Magamoo.