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Gulfstream: Miss Suwanee ready to rebound in Friday allowance
By Mike Welsch
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Although Mucho Macho Man gets all the ink, there are other horses in trainer Kathy Ritvo’s barn who have had some success this season. One of those is Miss Suwanee, who beat males winning her maiden this summer at Saratoga and will be among the contenders in Friday’s $54,500 allowance feature at Gulfstream Park, carded at five furlongs on the turf.
Miss Suwanee was fit and ready to roll off a 7 1/2-month vacation at the Spa. She led throughout the 5 1/2-furlong grass race to register an impressive 3 1/2-length victory for which she received a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 87.
“We kept missing races with her for maiden fillies this summer because of the rain,” said Ritvo. “We were even in the paddock one day and it rained, so we scratched her and took her back to the barn instead of running on the main track. Then the race for males came up and I had no problem running her against the boys because she’s built like a colt. She’s a nice, big filly.”
She has started just once since that Aug. 27 race, finishing a tiring ninth stretching out to seven furlongs over a yielding course at Belmont Park. Ritvo said the soft turf was the reason Miss Suwanee failed to fire.
“It was a very soft course and she was never able to get a hold of it,” Ritvo said. “She’s been training great since getting down here and I look for her to bounce back with a big race on Friday.”
Even the fact Miss Suwanee drew the outside, post 12, in a full field did not sway Ritvo’s confidence.
“She’s got enough speed she should have no problem getting over,” said Ritvo. “I think the post is perfect for her.”
Four other fillies who also raced this past summer at Saratoga figure prominently in Friday’s main event: Stopshoppingmaria, runner-up in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf; the veteran grass mare Lady Rizzi; stakes winner Heaven Knows That; and the lightly raced Spun Cap.
Stopshoppingmaria has started just twice since her 2011 Breeders’ Cup effort and was a beaten favorite in both outings, including as the 1-5 choice in an entry-level allowance dash on Aug. 4 at Saratoga.
Lady Rizzi, now 9, has already won three times over the local course, including an open $50,000 claiming dash here in her 2011 finale.
Spun Cap and Heaven Knows What finished third and fourth behind the multiple-stakes-winning turf sprinter Sensible Lady in an overnight stakes over the Saratoga grass course in August.
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