09/17/2005 12:00AM

Serious test for Resident Alien


The next phase in the education of Resident Alien takes place in the $60,000 CTBA Marian Stakes Monday at Fairplex. The 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-old California-bred fillies has lured a field of eight, and while some of her seven rivals may be more accomplished, Resident Alien comes into this with a ton of upside after some impressive summer races.

Resident Alien began her career for trainer Tim Yakteen with a third-place finish at Hollywood Park in June. She was claimed that day by Steve Knapp and came back to blitz $40,000 maiden claimers by nine in a sprint at Del Mar Aug. 1. She was claimed again, this time by Jeff Mullins, who brought her back for her first try against winners at Del Mar Aug. 28 - and in a spot where she couldn't be claimed away, a starter allowance. Resident Alien was sent off the 1-2 favorite and again performed well.

She chased the early pace, took over going to the far turn, opened up a clear lead, and stayed comfortably in front while not being asked for her best. Resident Alien's last two Beyer Speed Figures (84, 87) were accomplished with seemingly plenty left in reserve. Kerwin John rides Resident Alien on Monday.

The CTBA Marian is a hefty step up in class, and that means much tougher opposition. Resident Alien will be truly tested by the likes of Cee's Irish and Gn. Group Meeting.

Cee's Irish is winless since the Aug. 2 Sunland Oaks, but she has been facing tougher, including some graded stakes company in the summer. Her only previous route against California-breds came in the Melair at Hollywood Aug. 24. She finished second there to Leave Me Alone, who this summer won the Grade 1 Test and was second in the Grade 1 Gazelle. Doug O'Neill trains Cee's Irish, and Pat Valenzuela rides.

Gn. Group Meeting can pack a punch, as evidenced by her rallying second in the seven-furlong Fleet Treat at Del Mar on July 23 and late-running victory over optional claimers in a sprint there Aug. 26.

The only time Gn. Group Meeting has tried a route came in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks on June 12, and she finished fifth. The question is whether it was the company or the distance that foiled her.

Garrett Gomez rides Gn. Group Meeting for trainer Cliff Sise.