09/20/2005 11:00PM

Shady Woman finds a good spot


MIAMI - Shady Woman has flirted with stakes success the past two seasons but despite some big efforts is still without a stakes victory on her resume. That situation could finally be rectified Friday when Shady Woman takes on six rivals, including the red-hot Mystical Beauty, in Calder's $40,000 Cinnamon Girl Stakes.

Shady Woman has been stakes placed on three occasions during her career, including twice this season. The 97 Beyer Speed Figure she received for finishing third after setting a contentious pace in the 2004 Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap is tops among the seven fillies and mares in the Cinnamon Girl.

Shady Woman came within two lengths of her first stakes win on Aug. 19 when she chased the odds-on American Miss gate to wire when second best in the Sambacarioca Stakes. That race was the first time she had been teamed up with leading jockey Eddie Castro, who has the mount again Friday.

Mystical Beauty has won three in a row, all by margins of 3 1/2 lengths or more, since having blinkers removed earlier this summer. She returned quick dividends for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., who claimed the 5-year-old daughter of Cobra King in the name of his wife, Laurie Plesa, following the second of those three victories, when leading throughout to win a third-level optional claiming race on Sept. 2.

Alisa's Hope is the lone U.S. stakes winner in the Cinnamon Girl, having registered a resounding 5 1/4-length victory in the one-mile Regal Gal Stakes on Aug. 22, a race restricted to 3-year-olds. Alisa's Hope has yet to defeat older rivals, although she did hit the board on three straight occasions against her elders under second-level allowance conditions earlier in the session.

La Sami, who figures to be the longest price in the field, won a turf stakes in her native Peru in 2004 but has failed to be a factor in four U.S. starts. She'll wear blinkers for the first time in the Cinnamon Girl.

Cute Connie, a distant third in the Sambacarioca, and Appealing Pond, a similarly well-beaten third in the Draw in Stakes in her last start, round out the starting lineup.

Rose entry double tough

Trainer Barry Rose, who sends out Alisa's Hope in the Cinnamon Girl, will have a pretty good one-two punch in Friday's seventh race when his entry of Western Man and Smooth Lover take on five rivals under third-level optional claiming conditions.

Western Man won a pair of similarly conditioned races early this summer but has been overmatched in his last two starts against stakes competition. Smooth Lover will likely attempt to soften things up for his late-striding mate as one of the main speed horses in the race along with Laughing Luke and Vinotech.

Vinotech is the most intriguing member of the lineup. The 3-year-old won two of three starts here at 2 for Plesa, with his only loss coming at the hands of High Fly. After a dismal effort in the Aventura Stakes, Vinotech bounced back with an easy second-level allowance win on Feb. 20, but has not started since. A son of Smoke Glacken, Vinotech has had five one-mile works over the past five weeks.

Thirteen nominated to Flying Pidgeon

The $100,000 Flying Pidgeon Handicap closed earlier this week with 13 nominations, topped by Bob's Proud Moment, upset winner of the Grade 3 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sept. 5, and his archrival Keep Cool, wire-to-wire winner of both the Mecke Handicap and Absent Russian Stakes earlier this summer.

The Flying Pidgeon also drew a nomination from the multiple stakes winner Crowned King, who is based at Louisiana Downs with trainer Billy McKeever Jr.

The 1 1/8-mile Flying Pidgeon will be decided over the turf on Oct. 1.