03/26/2013 3:08PM

Oaklawn Park: Fantasy Stakes may be next for Marathon Lady

Pat Lang Photography
Marathon Lady (inside) lost a heartbreaker to Silsita in the Bourbonette Stakes at Turfway Park. Trainer Steve Hobby may run her back in the Fantasy Stakes.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Marathon Lady, who finished second by a nose in the Grade 3 Bourbonette Stakes at Turfway Park last Saturday, has returned to trainer Steve Hobby's Oaklawn Park barn. She is now possible for the Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy at Oaklawn on April 10. Earlier this meet, she won a maiden special weight route at Oaklawn.

“We’re going to nominate her for the Fantasy,” said Hobby, who trains Marathon Lady for Alex and JoAnn Lieblong. “It’s a little bit fast back, but we’ll just let her tell us if she’s ready or not.”

Marathon Lady earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 92 in the Bourbonette.

“She’s been training like she’s really an improving horse,” said Hobby.

Hobby also trains For Greater Glory, who was sixth in the Spiral at Turfway.

“He broke terrible,” Hobby said. “He turned his head just as they kicked it. He got way farther back than we planned on being, and all that [kickback] was hitting him in the face. He only got beat four and a half lengths. It really wasn’t a bad race considering all that.”

For Greater Glory, who also races for the Lieblongs, has a host of options for his next start, said Hobby.

“We’ll look at the Northern Spur here for sure,” he said of the April 13 race at Oaklawn. “I’m going to nominate for the Illinois Derby. I like the timing of that better, and then there’s always the Derby Trial.”

The Illinois Derby, a Grade 3, $750,000 race, will be run at Hawthorne on April 20. The Derby Trial, a Grade 3, $175,000 race, will be run at Churchill Downs on April 27.

Hobby plans to have 26 horses at Churchill for the upcoming meet. It will be the first time in a number of years he has been based in the spring at Churchill. For the past three seasons, Hobby raced at Delaware Park following Oaklawn.

“Last fall when they got the September dates at Churchill, that made a lot of difference,” Hobby said. “It lets you stay in the Midwest, which I prefer.”

Big Lute, another promising 3-year-old for the Lieblongs and Hobby, last Wednesday underwent surgery in Kentucky to remove a bone chip in his left knee, Hobby said. He will be off for two months, then rejoin the stable at Churchill.