11/07/2007 12:00AM

Hoosier Park: Gulf Coast Special back for Miss Indiana

EmailGulf Coast Special, who has spent the better part of this year in Texas, returns home to Indiana on Friday night as the likely favorite in the $45,000 Miss Indiana Stakes for statebred 2-year-old fillies at Hoosier Park at six furlongs.

Sold for $30,000 at the Fasig-Tipton 2-year-olds in training sale at Lone Star Park last April, Gulf Coast Special made her debut for trainer Danny Pish at Retama Park on Oct. 20 and eked out a neck victory after pressing a swift pace and dueling through the stretch with the runner-up, Superior Thief.

The only open maiden winner in the Miss Indiana field, Gulf Coast Special has a Beyer Speed Figure of 71, the highest earned by any filly in the field. Rodney Prescott picks up the mount on Gulf Coast Special, who seemingly has the speed to lead the field gate to wire.

Lil Mai Tai and Larry's Love, first and third, respectively, in the City of Anderson Stakes last month, once again figure to draw support. Lil Mai Tai drew off in the stretch to win the City of Anderson by two lengths, while favored Larry's Love was forced to alter course twice in the stretch and finished more than three lengths behind Lil Mai Tai.

Recent maiden winners Rachel Wiggles and Ring Ring Ring may get in the mix with mild improvement. Rachel Wiggles won her debut by more than 11 lengths, while Ring Ring Ring retains the services of jockey Orlando Mojica, the runaway leader in the Hoosier standings.