08/25/2007 11:00PM

Maryfield wins Ballerina in last jump


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Maryfield is based in Southern California, but she is a New York girl at heart.

For the second time this year, Maryfield made a successful cross-country journey, this time getting up in the final stride under Elvis Trujillo to nip Baroness Thatcher by a nose in Sunday's Grade 1, $250,000 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga. In April, Maryfield came to New York to win the Grade 2 Distaff Breeders' Cup at Aqueduct.

Miraculous Miss outfinished Boca Grande to get third by a nose. She was followed in the order of finish by Swap Fliparoo, 6-5 favorite Burmilla, Nothing But Fun, Pussycat Doll, and Indian Flare, who suffered a fatal breakdown after the race.

According to Dr. Anthony Verderosa, the New York Racing Association's chief examining veterinarian, Indian Flare fractured her pelvis during the running of the race and died of cardiovascular shock due to excessive blood loss. Indian Flare, a Grade 2 winner bred and owned by Juddmonte Farm and trained by Bobby Frankel, is a half-sister to graded stakes winners Latent Heat and Art Master.

Part-owner Mark Gorman prompted trainer Doug O'Neil to send the 5-year-old Maryfield to Saratoga for one of the most prestigious older filly and mare sprinters in the country.

"I believe in this horse, she’' the great Maryfield, that’s what we call her," said Gorman, who owns Maryfield with Nick Mestrandrea and Jim Perry. "She's given us so many presents, why not another one? This is it, this is the ultimate."

Under Elvis Trujillo, Maryfield stalked the pace as Indian Flare set fractions of 22.27 seconds and 44.57 for the opening half-mile. Maryfield moved into contention around the turn, swung four wide at the quarter pole and was able to run down a game Baroness Thatcher, who took over from Indian Flare in upper stretch.

Maryfield, a 6-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality, covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.78 and returned $35 to win.

"The other horse fought all the time, but my horse stayed in stride and caught her on the line," Trujillo said.

Trujillo got the return call from Maryfield's connections because they were pleased with how he rode her when Maryfield ran fourth, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder in July.

"The way he rode her, he fit the horse," Gorman said. "He rode her just perfectly because she doesn't break real quick, she kind of hesitates a little out of the gate. He didn't rush her up; if you watch he just kind of eases her up and she comes home boy."

Gorman indicated that Maryfield will be pointed directly to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park.