04/12/2009 11:00PM

Meydan Princess out to prove her worth


ARCADIA, Calif. - Meydan Princess joined Jim Cassidy's stable last fall after being acquired for approximately $300,000 at a sale in England. The trainer spent part of the winter wondering if it was money well spent.

"I had my doubts," he said.

Cassidy's opinion has brightened in recent weeks, enough to feel confident that Meydan Princess can be competitive in an optional claimer at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita on Wednesday.

"She's training very well," he said. "Obviously, she's a nice filly. I see her running a distance of ground. I see a future there."

Meydan Princess will face several new challenges in Wednesday's seventh race. The race is her first start outside of Britain, first start on a firm turf course, and first start beyond seven furlongs. Ideally, Wednesday's race would be shorter, Cassidy said.

"I wish it was a mile and wasn't a mile and an eighth, because she hasn't run in so long," he said.

Owned by Forging Oaks Farm, Meydan Princess has won 3 of 9 starts and $87,774. She ended her British career with a victory in the October Stakes going seven furlongs at Ascot last September, the most prestigious win of her career.

Meydan Princess has drawn the outside post in a field of eight. The long run to the first turn and her history of breaking slowly are likely to negate any concern about the post position. Jockey David Flores will probably have Meydan Princess at the back of the field and be able to save ground.

Meydan Princess is one of four fillies in the field returning from a layoff of at least five months.

Cat by the Tale, who began her career at Arlington Park and raced in Ireland last year, is making her first start since November. She had two wins last year.

Missit, winner of the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes here last April, makes her first start since a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks. Trainer Ben Cecil said Missit bled during that race.

"We decided to give her 90 days at the farm," he said.

He said Wednesday's distance will test Missit.

"I wish it was a mile first time out, but she's been training very well," Cecil said.

Princess Zozo, trained by John Sadler, returns from a yearlong layoff, seeking her third career win.

"She'll probably need a race," Sadler said.