04/18/2007 11:00PM

Mo Cuishle seeks return to form


CHICAGO - The 2006 Sixty Sails Handicap was over by the time all the horses had assembled in Hawthorne Race Course's underground paddock. There was some decent looking horseflesh assembled - and there was Fleet Indian. One opposing rider later referred to her as "an amazon." She went out and galloped to victory in the Sixty Sails, sailing through the rest of the season before an injury during the Breeders' Cup Distaff ended her career on a sour note.

Fleet Indian was not Todd Pletcher's first winner in the Grade 3, $200,000 Sixty Sails, and the Pletcher barn should be favored to take home more Hawthorne hardware Saturday. Mo Cuishle was scratched on Wednesday from the Doubledogdare at Keeneland, where she would have played second fiddle - at least in the wagering - to the winner, Asi Siempre. In the Sixty Sails, she probably will be viewed as the one to beat in a five-horse field.

Mo Cuishle won her first three starts in 2006 - her first year of racing - including an easy victory in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks. But she finished last of six as the heavy favorite in the Grade 2 Top Flight on Nov. 24 at Aqueduct, and was third as the odds-on favorite in a third-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park in her lone start this season. Still, Mo Cuishle clearly wasn't herself in the Aqueduct race, and at a one-turn mile, the Gulfstream Park comebacker might not have offered an ideal spot. Mo Cuishle seems better around two turns, and though she's never raced beyond 1 1/16 miles, Pletcher doesn't feel Saturday's 1 1/8-mile distance will be an impediment.

"I don't think nine furlongs is going to be an issue," Pletcher said, adding that "being close to the pace, Hawthorne might suit her style better than the Polytrack" at Keeneland.

Rolling Sea might be second choice in the Sixty Sails, having won three straight races at the Fair Grounds meet by a combined 23 lengths. Granted, Rolling Sea fell into one soft spot after another in New Orleans, and Saturday's race will be tougher, but those easy wins might have her set up for something better.

"Her confidence level is extremely high," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "All three wins were visually impressive without taking a lot out of her."

Kettleoneup has 3 wins and 3 seconds in her last 6 starts, and just missed upsetting Pletcher-trained India last out in the Azeri Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn.

My Chickadee has some ability, but remains eligible for a second-level allowance race. Coolwind finished second to a claiming horse in her local Sixty Sails prep.