09/21/2003 11:00PM

Poet's Studio live maiden in stakes

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POMONA, Calif. - Can a maiden be a standout in a $50,000 stakes race? The question comes up Wednesday at Fairplex Park, where 2-year-old filly Poet's Studio is expected to score her first career win in the Black Swan Stakes.

A field of 12 entered the 1 1/16-mile Black Swan, race 11 on a marathon 13-race card. That Poet's Studio is still a maiden after three starts is less significant than that she is the only starter who has raced a route of ground. And she did it well. Poet's Studio finished second in a one-mile race Sept. 4 at Del Mar.

"That's got to give us some advantage," trainer Marty Jones said, though he admits he is worried because his filly has had only 20 days between starts. "I just hope I'm giving her enough time. She ran awfully hard. I hated to see her run so hard and get beat."

Poet's Studio, a full sister to Grade 2 winner Scholar's Studio, finished eight lengths clear of third in her last start. Jones and owner-breeder Eddie Nahem could have skipped the Black Swan and entered a mile maiden race Oct. 2 at Santa Anita, but that race may be tougher than the Black Swan. Del Mar Debutante runner-up Hollywood Story and highly regarded Resplendency are both expected to run in the maiden race.

In the Black Swan, Poet's Studio is part of a moderate field, in which Church Editor tries to win her third straight. Church Editor, by Editor's Note, won her debut in a $25,000 maiden claiming race at Calder, and then was purchased and sent to trainer Vladimir Cerin. She won her California debut by a half-length over Sunshine Allie, who returned to finish second.

Cerin expects Church Editor to hold her form while stretching out to a route. "She definitely looks like she will go two turns," he said, while recognizing that the Black Swan will be run around three turns on the five-eighth-mile Fairplex oval. Martin Pedroza rides Church Editor. Ryan Fogelsonger will be aboard Poet's Studio.

The Black Swan upsetter could be the maiden Fabulous Bonus, beaten 13 lengths by Tizdubai in the Grade 2 Sorrento at Del Mar. The question is whether a 13-length loss in a Grade 2 gives her a look in a $50,000 stakes at Fairplex. David Neusch rides Fabulous Bonus, who is trained by D. Wayne Baker.

Other entrants include Missice, High Silver, Sophie and Al, Vivian, Alpenwald, Midnight Velvet, Saved, and also-eligibles Coke's Melody and Ms. Sharoan.

The 1984 Black Swan winner was Fran's Valentine, who was disqualified for interference from the win in the first BC Juvenile Fillies at Hollywood Park.