02/09/2013 3:21PM

Fair Grounds: My My My Maria soars from $7,500 claimer to Mardi Gras contender

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Hodges Photography/ Lynn Roberts
My My My Maria, claimed for $7,500 on Nov. 1, won the off-the-turf Pan Zareta on Jan. 12 and seeks to double up in the Mardi Gras Handicap on Tuesday.

Trainer Tim Glyshaw’s starter-allowance run began a half-decade ago with Ready’s Rocket, a win machine sent out to pasture last year to an Old Friends equine retirement facility. Grand Traverse, another starter-allowance tiger, soon followed, and more recently, Glyshaw won a Claiming Crown race – the zenith for starter-allowance horses – with Tiban.

The mare My My My Maria has yet to show the starter staying power of those predecessors, but in the three months since Glyshaw and the Quarter Pole Club racing partnership claimed her for $7,500 My My My Maria has been a raging success. Already this race meet at Fair Grounds she won the $75,000 Pan Zareta Stakes, and My My My Maria now has Tuesday’s $75,000 Mardi Gras Handicap in her sights.

My My My Maria won her sixth race from 25 starts the day Glyshaw claimed her. She has since gone 3 for 3, with her victories coming at increasingly higher class levels.

“I tell most of my owners that the plan is just to improve a horse even a little bit when we claim them,” Glyshaw said. “It might be moving a $5,000 horse up to $7,500, but that’s the plan.”

My My My Maria’s emergence this winter was born of mild desperation. Glyshaw only entered her in an optional $40,000 claiming race after a series of failed attempts to get My My My Maria into another starter race.

The Pan Zareta was rained off turf and onto dirt, and My My My Maria used a sharp move from the three-eighths pole to move from sixth place to a comfortable lead. The horse she beat. Monono, is back for the six-furlong Mardi Gras, but the main competition comes from two fresh faces, Good Deed and Beat the Blues.

“The only thing I’m happy about is we’re catching them after a layoff,” Glyshaw said.

Good Deed has a three-length course and distance win from the Letellier Stakes last meet. She finished second behind Grade 1 winner Contested in the Eight Belles on May 4, ran below form a month later in the Winning Colors, and makes her first start since on Tuesday.

“The timing is good for this,” trainer Steve Margolis said. “We’ve put some solid works into her. It should set her up good for a winning race.”

Beat the Blues has been away since a third-place finish in the Honorable Miss on Aug. 3 at Saratoga. She has run well before in Fair Grounds sprints, but at age 6 has less upside than 4-year-old Good Deed.