08/01/2012 1:31PM

Monmouth: Northern Cotton tries to fire fresh in sprint feature


OCEANPORT, N.J. – Northern Cotton, already a well-traveled filly, makes her Monmouth Park debut on Friday in the $42,000 feature for fillies and mares.

The first-level optional $40,000 claimer, which will be contested at six furlongs, attracted eight runners. None of her rivals has ranged as far and as wide as Northern Cotton. The 3-year-old started her career last summer at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, Canada, where she went 1 for 3.

Looking for a warmer climate for the filly to winter, Quest Dor Stable reached out to trainer Jane Cibelli.

“A member of the syndicate that owns her is a friend of a friend of mine,” Cibelli said.

Thanks to that connection, Northern Cotton headed to Cibelli’s barn at Tampa Bay Downs, where she ran twice. The first start after the barn change was a rallying second, a very encouraging effort.

Then Northern Cotton fell victim to some tight scheduling, running fourth in the Sophomore Fillies Stakes for Florida-breds after a first-level allowance failed to fill.

“She came back too quickly,” Cibelli said. “She was breezing very well and the Florida-bred stakes was in the back of my mind. She ran two weeks apart and it was too much, off the layoff, and there is not much to her anyway.”

Northern Cotton has been freshened since that stakes on April 7.

“We gave her some time, and a chance to get her feet back under her,” Cibelli said. “She’s been doing very well.”

Really Bullish and Klondike Kate both step up following maiden wins.

Really Bullish beat $60,000 claimers at Aqueduct in March while Klondike Kate won here by 5 1/2 lengths in late June.

Angel Dreams breaks from the outside for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. as she returns to the dirt for her third start of the meet.

Angel Dreams was a very good second in a similar race on June 29. She switched to the turf last week and was not a factor going five furlongs.

My Lucky Shoes seems to be getting the hang of the racing game. She got her maiden win in her 13th try and followed that a runner-up effort in a first-level allowance. Although she rarely wins, My Lucky Shoes has been in the money in her last eight races.

Red Over Blue, Love Contract, and Myprincessallyson, making her 22nd main-track appearance at Monmouth, complete the field.