08/20/2008 11:00PM

Turf shouldn't be a problem for Maxinkuckee Miss


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Feeling grass under her feet should be a familiar experience for Maxinkuckee Miss, even though the $60,000 Junior Champion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday at Monmouth will be her first race on turf.

A daughter of Langfuhr, Maxinkuckee Miss spent the winter with trainer Jamie Woodington, and like all horses in her care, spent time on the turf.

"She trained on the grass at home in South Carolina and always handled it," Woodington said. "It's not as though she hasn't been on the turf. We train all of them on the grass."

After that early schooling with Woodington, Maxinkuckee Miss headed to Kentucky and trainer Steve Penrod for her debut, a second-place finish in a six-furlong race at Churchill Downs.

When the Churchill meet ended, Maxinkuckee Miss returned to Woodington at Monmouth. She won a one-mile maiden race on Aug. 1 by a neck. Now she gets her first stakes experience, and a return to the turf.

"She's very smart," Woodington said. "She's a very nice baby. She's bred to run on the grass, so there is no reason not to do this. She already has the two-turn experience."

Carlos Marquez Jr. has a return call.

Countess Seagrape makes her grass debut for trainer Terri Pompay. A daughter of Arch, she remains a maiden after two tries but her latest, a third behind Maxinkuckee Miss on a stretch-out from five furlongs to a mile, was encouraging.

"She beat us on the dirt," Pompay said. "Hopefully my filly will move up a little more on the turf."

Renda shifts to the turf for the first time while also making her first start beyond six furlongs. After winning her debut at Calder in May, Renda finished fifth in her next two starts, both Grade 3 stakes: the Debutante at Churchill Downs and the Schuylerville at Saratoga.

Lady Kafca ran much better last time out at Delaware Park, finishing second in her turf debut while adding Lasix. Trainer Dennis Manning makes another change for the Junior Champion by adding blinkers.

Palmilla tops turf marathon

Palmilla pulled off the upset at 20-1 in the Robert G. Dick Memorial Handicap at Delaware Park on July 12. She will try for a second straight win in a 1 3/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares Saturday at Monmouth in the $70,000 Omnibus Stakes.

Joe Bravo will ride for Jonathan Sheppard.

Herboriste, runner-up in the Dick Memorial, was also entered, setting the stage for a rematch.

Herboriste has not won since taking a first-level allowance race at Keeneland in October. But she has been competitive in her six races since then with in-the-money finishes in her last four.

Jose Lezcano rides for trainer Michael Matz.

Czarina's Girl was nominated to Monmouth's Grade 3 Molly Pitcher Stakes but might find the Omnibus a better fit.

* Marquez took off his last three mounts Thursday with a hand injury.