09/17/2011 1:32PM

Hoosier Park: Little Miss Muffet faces questions as favorite


On Sept. 10 at Arlington Park, Shared Property, a 2-year-old Scat Daddy colt who had won his career debut in Kentucky, captured the Arlington-Washington Futurity for trainer Tom Amoss. Tuesday’s featured third race at Hoosier Park is an entry-level allowance for 2-year-olds also open to $50,000 claimers and restricted to fillies, but there are parallels to the Futurity.

Little Miss Muffet, trained by Amoss, also won her career debut in Kentucky. She, too, was sired by the hot young Scat Daddy. And, like Shared Property, Little Miss Muffet will be piloted by Leandro Goncalves, the runaway leading jockey at Hoosier. Tally everything up, and Little Miss Muffet should be favored over the five other betting interests in the race.

Skeptics will take note of a couple factors. Little Miss Muffet makes her first start since May 27, when she won at first asking over nine maidens at Churchill, and the gap between starts must have come for some reason. Also, the race Little Miss Muffet won is not aging well: The fillies behind her have combined to go 1 for 22 since, that lone win coming in an Indiana Downs turf-sprint maiden. Little Miss Muffet debuted at five furlongs and will be asked to go six Tuesday, and though her pedigree points to a horse capable of negotiating at least a middle distance, some precocious juveniles have drastic distance limitations, regardless of bloodlines.

Bettors figure to make Devious Intent the second choice, since her only start produced a 5 1/2-length maiden romp Aug. 17 at Hoosier for the trainer-jockey team of Bret Calhoun and Jamie Theriot. In the pre-speed-figure era, Devious Intent’s debut would seem stronger. Her raw time of 1:03.60 for 5 1/2 furlongs looks good superficially, but the middling 60 Beyer Speed Figure it produced tells no lie. They were flying that night at Hoosier, with low-level horses breaking 1:10 for six furlongs in a couple races. But while Devious Intent might not have run fast, she did draw away nicely through the stretch while showing an ability to rate, and the move to six furlongs could benefit her more than Little Miss Muffet.

Put one more horse in the win mix, Holiday Soiree, a 6 1/2-length Ellis Park maiden winner in her most recent start. Holiday Soiree won from in front that day, but probably will have to race from behind Tuesday.