03/19/2015 12:36PM

Merry Meadow in top form entering Inside Information

Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photos
Merry Meadow wins the Hurricane Bertie on Feb. 14 at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Marty Wolfson has three of the seven older fillies and mares entered in Saturday’s Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes, and he pretty much summed up the general feeling about the race in one sentence.

“My horses are all doing well, but I don’t know if anybody can beat Merry Meadow anyway,” said Wolfson, who won the seven-furlong Inside Information last winter with Heart Stealer.

Merry Meadow has already won the first two legs of the local sprint series for fillies and mares, the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl at six furlongs and the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie at 6 1/2 furlongs. Her performance in the Hurricane Bertie was her most impressive yet, a 9 1/2-length tour de force for which she received a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 98.

“I think it’s just a matter that she’s got her confidence,” trainer Mark Hennig said in reference to the fact that Merry Meadow finished in the money in nine of her first 10 starts before finally winning her maiden in her 11th try. “She just needed a win to break through.”

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Wolfson’s trio of potential starters in the Inside Information consists of Best Behavior, Centrique, and Quiet Hour.

“I’ve also got all three nominated to the Madison at Keeneland,” said Wolfson. “I’ll probably run two of the three here. Best Behavior for sure because of her speed. I’m just throwing out her last start when she broke terrible in the Barbara Fritchie.”

Classic Point and Sweet Whiskey make their first starts since finishing first and fourth in the Grade 3 Go for Wand at Aqueduct on Nov. 28.


Merry Meadow (Last 3 Beyers: 98-97-86)

◗ Although the dominant member of the local division, she’ll only have to concede two to four pounds to her six rivals Saturday under the allowance conditions of the race.

◗ She has not run as far as seven furlongs since she was beaten a nose by Hot Stones in the Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses Handicap last summer at Belmont.

Classic Point (Last 3 Beyers: 96-93-79)

◗ She was transferred to trainer Jimmy Jerkens from his father, the late Allen Jerkens, following her eighth-place finish in the Bed o’ Roses.

◗ She reunites with Paco Lopez for the first time since the pair combined to win an optional-claiming race by 5 1/4 lengths here last spring.

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Sweet Whiskey (Last 3 Beyers: 88-90-81)

◗ She’s the only member of the field to be Grade 1-placed, having finished second in the Acorn at Belmont at 3, but has only two victories on her résumé, the fewest of any horse in the Inside Information.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 3 Sweet Whiskey. Trainer Todd Pletcher is 47-7-5-6 with a $0.73 ROI over the past five years going route to sprint on dirt following a layoff of 120 days or more. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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Best Behavior (Last 3 Beyers: 67-92-78)

◗ She’s finished worse than third only once in nine local starts but has never won at seven furlongs in three starts.

◗ She gave Merry Meadow a run for her money in their only previous encounter when second in the Sky Beauty on Nov. 1 at Gulfstream Park West.

Centrique (Last 3 Beyers: 74-88-73)

◗ She’s finished well behind Merry Meadow in all three of their previous encounters, including a distant fourth in the Hurricane Bertie.