07/14/2010 5:38PM

Souper Miss lands in much softer spot at Arlington


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Souper Miss won two straight races in impressive fashion to close her 2009 campaign, and trainer Mickey Goldfine had her ready for her 2010 debut, too. Goldfine sent her straight into the Peach of It Handicap for Illinois-breds on April 24 at Hawthorne, and Souper Miss won that, too.

Nothing has gone right since. Souper Miss had post 11 for the Grade 3 Matron Stakes here, got a rotten trip, and wound up last of 11. In the Lincoln Heritage, for Illinois-breds on grass, she found trouble and struggled over a wet turf course, winding up 11th again.

But Souper Miss could get back on the right track in the featured sixth race on Friday at Arlington, a third-level optional $80,000 claimer carded for one mile on Polytrack. The field is much smaller than what Souper Miss has recently seen, and the level of competition much more manageable. Souper Miss drew post 5, from which – with any luck this time – she could fall into an ideal trip pressing Fighter Wing, the only other speed in the race.

“I’m feeling very positive about her,” said Goldfine. “She worked very good going into this race. She appears to be doing really well.”

Souper Miss probably prefers dirt, on which she’s 3 for 3, to Polytrack, over which she has won once in six starts. But as long as the Poly is not loose and difficult to grip, Souper Miss gets over the surface well enough, in Goldfine’s opinion.

Fighter Wing might take some catching on her own, however. Trounced by high-class runners Zardana and Life at Ten in two spring stakes tries, Fighter Wing led and faded in a race similar to this one early in the Arlington meet. She is a fresher horse now, and won twice on Arlington’s synthetic surface last season.

Home’s the Best ran over Fighter Wing and everyone else in that May 9 allowance race, and she looks like a contender again Friday. A troubled seventh in the Matron, Home’s the Best did not show her best when shipped to a stakes race at Indiana Downs for her most recent start.

The race’s mystery horse is Outskirt Lady, a Group 3 winner in Panama last season who makes her U.S. debut for Kentucky-based trainer Larry Demeritte.