07/22/2010 3:27PM

Peyote patty comes in off best effort this year


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Last summer at Arlington, Peyote Patty was a curiosity. How many horses, after all, are named after the cactus from which the psychedelic drug mescaline is derived? Peyote Patty had name cachet, and she was based downstate at Fairmount Park, home to few horses with real ability. And, all of a sudden in late spring 2009, she had talent. An eight-race maiden at one point, Peyote Patty won at Hawthorne in April, then won four more times during Arlington’s season, a win skein capped by a victory in the $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes.

But in 2010, Peyote Patty hasn’t been sneaking up on anybody. Her odds have been fairly short in all three of her starts here this summer, and Peyote Patty could easily be favored to win the featured eighth race on Saturday at Arlington, a multiple-conditions turf allowance also open to $80,000 claimers.

Peyote Patty, a 5-year-old daughter of Cactus Ridge owned by Tim Keeley and trained by Steve Fridley, is 0 for 3 so far this year, but she comes off her best race so far in 2010, a closing second–place finish behind the good filly Cumulonimble in the Lincoln Heritage Stakes for Illinois-breds. That race was on grass, and Peyote Patty’s only other turf try was her win in the Illinois Owners, and it is beginning to look like Peyote Patty, capable on synthetic, prefers turf racing.

Peyote Patty has tactical speed, a potential plus on a very firm Arlington course that favored front-runners last week, and she could sit a favorable trip behind War Tigress and Kimbo in a one-mile race that drew 11 entrants.

Sweet Relish could take up a similar position, and may have room to improve in turf races. A stakes winner last year at age 3, Sweet Relish lost her first three starts of 2010 before winning her grass debut here last month. Sweet Relish fell into a perfect pressing trip that day, but showed encouraging stretch acceleration.

Apple Martini finished one length behind Peyote Patty in the Lincoln Heritage, and could benefit from a swift, contested pace.

War Tigress – cross-entered in a race at Canterbury – has struggled to regain her form from 2008 after missing more than a year of racing, but does take a class drop after finishing less than five lengths behind the winner in the Locust Grove Handicap July 3 at Churchill Downs.