09/15/2007 12:00AM

Swiss Current in strong position for Marian

EmailThe best horse drew the best post in Monday's $65,000 CTBA Marian Stakes at Fairplex Park. Swiss Current, the leading money winner in the field with the top last-out Beyer Speed Figure, will break from the rail and appears in a cozy spot in which to notch her third victory. The Marian is for 3-year-old California-bred fillies at 1 1/16 miles.

Bettors trying to beat the favorite may cite her seven-race losing streak, although it's important to recognize that one of those defeats came when she was second to Tough Tiz's Sis in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks in March. Tough Tiz's Sis has since won the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks and finished third Saturday behind Lear's Princess and Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches in the Grade 1 Gazelle.

Following a three-month layoff, trainer Doug O'Neill gave Swiss Current a single turf shot in allowance company on July 22. Following that fifth-place performance, O'Neill moved Swiss Current to the Polytrack at Del Mar for the $140,000 Torrey Pines Stakes. Swiss Current rallied from far back to finish fourth, just two lengths behind Grade 1 winner Romance Is Diane, who finished second. The Torrey Pines was won by Seaside Affair, who is 4 for 12 with $229,000 in earnings.

Swiss Current faces six opponents that have managed a collective five wins, exclusively against California-bred opposition. Her main foe appears to be the stakes-placed D Pirates Marker, the only other multiple winner in the field. A Benchmark filly trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, D Pirates Marker has made her last six starts over synthetic surfaces at Hollywood and Del Mar. Two starts back, she closed closed for fourth in the statebred Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar. The third-place finisher in that race was Romance Is Diane, who finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of D Pirates Marker.

D Pirates Marker will have to shoulder top weight of 123 pounds and concede four pounds to each of her six rivals.

Three of the entrants in the Marian have have only a single sprint score to their credit. Warren's Adventure, the most seasoned of the trio, failed to follow through on a strong middle-move in a starter allowance last out, while Lt. Lorraine has disappointed since drawing off to a convincing Cushion Track graduation. Horse for course enthusiasts will note that Perfectly Sweet, who won a maiden race here Sept. 9 is the only starter owning a Fairplex triumph.