12/31/2010 5:50PM

Maiden claiming sprint winner returns to pay $82 in allowance route

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It’s fair to say that Daisy Devine went overlooked in Thursday’s entry-level allowance feature for 2-year-old fillies. The third-time starter had gotten drummed at Keeneland racing on Polytrack in her career debut, and a second-out dirt-sprint maiden win at Fair Grounds had come for a $30,000 claiming price.

“I knew she was doing really well, but I couldn’t make a case for her,” said trainer Andrew McKeever.

Few others could, either, and when Daisy Devine came home one length to the good, she paid $82.20 to win, and that in just a six-horse field.

McKeever actually swept the top two spots in the race, with 7-2 Suave Voir Faire edging out even-money favorite Switching Gears for second. McKeever had planned on starting Suave Voir Faire in the two-turn dirt race all along, but put Daisy Devine in when a sprint race failed to fill. Now, he and owner Jim Miller, who paid just $5,500 for Daisy Devine at auction, might have a horse suited to early 2011 stakes races.

“If she keeps on improving we’re going to have to see what happens,” said McKeever, who did think it unlikely Daisy Devine would come back for the Tiffany Lass Stakes on Jan. 22.

Willcox Inn back in training

Willcox Inn, third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, has returned to training after a winter break, trainer Mike Stidham said Friday. Willcox Inn has just gotten started back in regular training, and Stidham doesn’t believe the colt will be ready to race again until March. Willcox Inn won his career debut in a two-turn Arlington Polytrack race, and finished third to J.B.’s Thunder in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland before his solid showing in the BC Juvenile Turf.