07/01/2008 11:00PM

Suffolk Downs: Le Cordon Bleu has credentials


The chance to put a stakes win on a future catalog page has lured Le Cordon Bleu back to Boston for the $50,000 My Fair Lady Stakes over the Suffolk Downs turf course.

Local horsemen always fear out-of-towners raiding the stakes purses at Suffolk, but Le Cordon Bleu counts as both a shipper and a local.

Owned by John Ropes, the filly trains in Delaware with former New Englander Mike Gorham. The experience he gathered while growing up on the local circuit told him to send Le Cordon Bleu north ahead of time and get a test on the turf. She easily passed, winning an allowance by 2 1/4 lengths June 21.

"It can be a tricky turf course up there," said Gorham. "That last race really helped her get her confidence back."

Le Cordon Bleu had lost seven straight, including a tiring fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico on Preakness Day. There, she set the pace and faded to last over a slow course labeled good.

"She's got some tactical speed," said Gorham, signaling that Le Cordon Bleu and jockey Jose Lopez may let others do the pacesetting on Friday.

Gorham also entered Peak Maria's Way, the filly who upset Grade 1 winner Unbridled Belle in the Obeah Handicap at Delaware last summer.

Trainer John Pregman seeks a confidence boost Montecito, coming out of four straight stakes losses.

The My Fair Lady's most famous alum, Satin Sunrise, won in 1995 and went on to produce Lion Heart, the 2004 Kentucky Derby runner-up and Haskell winner.

First post for Friday moves back to 12:45. Twilight Fridays will resume next week through the end of August. Fans can get a free folding chair with paid admission.