11/26/2009 12:00AM

First few strides will tell tale at Zia


Trainer Justin Evans will have a good idea where he stands with Magdalena's Chase pretty quickly in the $60,000 Zia Park Distaff on Saturday.

"The break is key," he said. "If she gets away from there, that's where she wins a lot of her races."

Magdalena's Chase drew the rail for the six-furlong stakes for fillies and mares. To her immediate outside Saturday sits her main pace rival, Cape of Bradford.

"I wish I could have drawn outside of her," Evans said. "Hopefully, we'll just break away and maybe clear off and be all right."

Martin Bourdieu has the mount on Magdalena's Chase, whom he guided to a 4 1/2-length wire-to-wire win in an allowance at Zia Nov. 1. A win in the Distaff would be the first stakes score for Magdalena's Chase, a five-time winner this year who was third in the $100,000 Remington Park Filly and Mare Sprint in August and second in the $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes, also at Remington, in October.

She races for SEJ Stables.

Cape of Bradford spent the summer racing at Del Mar, where in her most recent start she set a hot pace and finished fourth in the $88,000 Daisycutter at five furlongs on turf Sept. 3. Before that, she was second in a pair of $62,500 optional claimers at Del Mar. Cape of Bradford is now based at Remington, and has been working strongly for what will be her first start in close to three months. Chris Hartman trains the filly for Frontier Stables.

The Tom Amoss-trained Magna Heart is seeking her fourth straight win Saturday. She is making her stakes debut after three straight allowance scores at Hoosier Park dating back to August. Magna Heart showed speed in those races, but has also been effective from off the pace and might get a nice trip sitting just off of Magdalena's Chase and Cape of Bradford.

Also in the field are Miss Missile, Sailor's Sister, and Prairie Charm. Each won the last time she ran in a stakes, with Miss Missile taking the $60,000 Mademoiselle at Delta Downs on Oct. 14; Sailor's Sister winning the $60,000 Chaves County at Zia on Oct. 4; and Prairie Charm accounting for the $150,000 Harry Henson at Sunland Park on March 29.