07/05/2009 11:00PM

Peyote Patty best if she behaves herself


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Peyote, a small spineless cactus native to Texas and Mexico, has long been used by humans, in part for the psychedelic qualities produced by the mescaline in the plant. Peyote Patty, presumably so named because she's a daughter of Cactus Ridge, had her peyote moment before the Isaac Murphy Handicap on June 20 at Arlington.

"She flipped in the gate, then she got stuck in the gate, and then she got mad," said Fairmount Park-based trainer Steve Fridley. "We took her back to the gate five or six times since, and she's had no problems. She'd never done anything like it before, either. We're hoping it was just one of those brain-cramp moments."

If Peyote Patty's head stays screwed on properly Wednesday, she can lead all the way and win the featured seventh race at Arlington Park, a second-level Illinois-bred allowance carded for one mile on Polytrack. Scheduled to ship from Fairmount to Arlington on Tuesday, Peyote Patty was one of six fillies and mares entered, and she comes off the most impressive recent race among the group. Making her synthetic-track debut on May 23, Peyote Patty pressed the pace after breaking from the rail going 6 1/2 furlongs, took a clear lead to the stretch call, and drew off to win an Illinois-bred first-level allowance race by more than seven lengths.

"I kind of think she's been improving all year," said Fridley. "I'd say the Poly improved her, and a little more distance helped."

Peyote Patty shows only one workout since her gate mishap, but it was a good one, five furlongs in 1:01.40 over the Fairmount strip, which tends to produce slow times during morning work.

"She did that pretty handily," said Fridley. "We sat on her to the 70-yard pole, and she came home pretty good."

Peyote Patty figures to be forwardly placed under Tim Thornton, and could get pace pressure to the inside from Archipelago, and to the outside from Mustang Stacey. Lil Carmelita, Napoleon's Retreat, and On the Quiet figure to show up later, if they show up at all. Lil Carmelita finished a close fourth in the Lincoln Heritage Stakes on June 20, and has won before at Wednesday's distance. Napoleon's Retreat also ran on the Prairie State Festival, falling too far behind the early leaders before making a mild late move to finish fifth in the Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.