07/15/2009 12:00AM

Mystic Miracle's hidden move

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Most of what happened during Mystic Miracle's last race remains shrouded in mystery.

The only certainty is that the 3-year-old continues to move in the right direction with each start.

:: RACE OF THE DAY:

Mystic Miracle will be a key contender Thursday at Monmouth Park in a $41,000 first-level allowance for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

She earned an 81 Beyer Speed Figure last time out, the highest number registered by any runner in the race. It's hard to tell how Mystic Miracle did it here on June 11, because a thick layer of fog enveloped the Jersey Shore.

Mystic Miracle was fifth, 4 1/2 lengths off the lead, as the field swept past the stands the first time before disappearing into the mist on the first turn. When next visible at the top of the stretch, Mystic Miracle was second and gaining rapidly to miss by only a nose.

"That last race was pretty good, except for the fact we didn't get to see very much," said Rob Rader, Mark Hennig's New Jersey assistant. "She was running well that last eighth of a mile. As for the rest of it, your guess is as good as mine."

The race continued a three-race pattern of steady improvement. It started in March at Gulfstream Park, where Mystic Miracle rallied for second in a maiden claimer. Her Beyer jumped 20 points the next start at Belmont Park, a maiden win for a $65,000 tag. Then came the allowance near-miss in the fog.

"She's doing real well and she's trying to do the right thing," Rader said. "Her last three races have been pretty good and she keeps trying to step up."

Elvis Trujillo, Monmouth's leading rider, picks up the mount.

Abuela, trained by Vicki Oliver, is another filly with a pattern of improving Beyers. She posted a career-high 78 in her last start here, a rallying second on May 24. Abuela has a win and a second in three starts on turf.

Chris DeCarlo has the return call.

Proud Lisa is another filly in good form with two wins and a third in her last three outings, since trainer Joe Orseno added blinkers.

Ravenous took to the grass in her turf debut here, posting a gate-to-wire victory. It was her maiden win for a $50,000 tag on July 2 for Maryland-based trainer Dick Small.