01/07/2011 5:30PM

Mary's Follies, Never Retreat part of great betting race in Marshua's River


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Stakes with $100,000 purses come in all degrees of difficulty, but it would be hard to find one much tougher or deeper than what Gulfstream Park will offer Sunday with the Grade 3 Marshua’s River.

An overflow field of fillies and mares was entered in the 1 1/16-mile turf race – as many as 14 will be permitted to start on the spacious Gulfstream course – and the winner could come from almost anywhere. Mares such as Mary’s Follies, Never Retreat, Kiss Mine, and C.S. Silk have proven their mettle under a variety of circumstances, and they figure to be among the wagering favorites on an odds board sure to meet with the fans’ approval.

Mary’s Follies, a Grade 2 winner, wheels back as the beaten favorite in the Dec. 4 My Charmer at Calder and now makes her third start in a three-month period, a span to suggest she might be poised for a breakout. The 5-year-old Mary’s Follies was assigned the favorable rail post, and with Julien Leparoux riding for trainer Rick Dutrow, horseplayers will see her as one of the real dangers.

Never Retreat (post 2), an earner of nearly $400,000, enters in terrific form, having won three of her last five while gradually ascending the class ladder. Kiss Mine (post 11) won four stakes in 2010 and is being sent over from her new Tampa base by trainer Dave Vance. C.S. Silk (post 12) runs the occasional monster race, and Sunday would be a good time for another.

Wild Mia (post 4) is one of a handful of 4-year-olds in the lineup. She was a sharp second to Aruna in her last race, the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs.

“I thought the filly that beat her at Churchill is awful special,” said her trainer, Tom Proctor. “This is a big jump for her against the older mares, but she’s been pretty good about handling what we’ve asked of her.”