05/26/2011 12:07PM

Parx: Tar Heel Mom, Sweet Goodbye meet for first time in My Juliet


They have combined to win 22 of 46 starts, including 15 stakes. Midway through their 6-year-old seasons, Tar Heel Mom and Sweet Goodbye are as good as they have ever been. Saturday, the two consistent sprinting mares meet for the first time in the $250,000 My Juliet Stakes at Parx Racing.

Tar Heel Mom and Sweet Goodbye appear to tower over their four rivals in the My Juliet, run over the main track at six furlongs.

At six furlongs, Tar Heel Mom would appear to have an advantage over Sweet Goodbye, who has done her best work at seven-eighths.

Tar Heel Mom, a seven-time stakes winner, is 6 for 10 at six furlongs. She suffered a hind leg fracture coming out of a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Vagrancy at Belmont Park last May. Since returning last December, Tar Heel Mom has three stakes wins from six starts, including a 4 1/2-length victory in an overnight stakes at Belmont on May 8 in which she earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 101.

“I thought she would come back,’’ trainer Stanley Hough said. “It was a question whether we’d run her another year.’’

Hough was not thrilled that his filly drew the rail, though Tar Heel Mom did win stakes the last two times she has had the rail. Alex Solis rides.

Sweet Goodbye, a Maryland-bred daughter of Louis Quatorze, has won her last two starts, including the $250,000 Sugar Maple Stakes at Charles Town by 6 1/4 lengths on April 16. She cuts back to six furlongs, a distance at which she is only 1 for 3. Trainer Chris Grove noted that a five-furlong workout in 58 seconds at Bowie last Saturday has his mare razor sharp. Sweet Goodbye breaks from post 6 under J.D. Acosta.

“She’s okay to lay second; if the horse on the rail wants the lead we’ll lay right off of her,’’ Grove said. “She’s on top of her game right now. It’s going to take a really good effort to beat her.’’

Tar Heel Mom and Sweet Goodbye will both carry 124 pounds. Lady Alexander, a multiple stakes winner at Monmouth Park, carries 122 pounds. The remaining three runners get in at 114.

Indian Legend and Lady Lucinda finished one-two in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race at Parx on April 26. Brilliant Sunshine, who beat Indian Legend and Lady Lucinda in a Jan. 15 allowance at Parx, makes her first start since finishing fifth in the Correction at Aqueduct on Jan. 29.