10/18/2007 12:00AM

Hoosier Park: Maggie Slew at home

EmailThe past year has largely been a difficult one for Maggie Slew, the last runner by the late Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. Narrowly defeated in two graded stakes last year as a 3-year-old, Maggie Slew has managed just one victory in the past 13 months, while finishing up the track in seven other starts.

In search of a turnaround, Maggie Slew returns to her roots at Hooiser Park on Saturday to face fellow Indiana-bred fillies and mares in the $45,000 Merrillville Stakes.

Maggie Slew, whose sole win this year was in a one-mile money allowance at Churchill Downs in July, is the class of the field, but the Merrillville has attracted a number of rivals in sharper form who might find the six-furlong distance more to their liking.

Basin Banannie, who gutted out a win in the two-turn Richmond Stakes two weeks ago, is proven sprinting and has yet to finish worse than second in six previous starts at Hoosier.

Another marquee horse in the Merrillville is Princess Composer, the winningest Thoroughbred in North America this year with 11 wins from 15 starts. If not for a neck defeat in a turf allowance in July, Princess Composer would enter Saturday's race on a nine-race winning streak.

Whatsitgonnatake, competitive in high-end claiming races in Chicago over the summer, is an improving sort who figures with her best form.