Updated on 09/15/2011 12:17PM

Two French-breds - who's crustier?


STICKNEY, Ill. - Mumtaz and Great Fever, two horses conceived in France by the same sire, both have found their way to Chicago's southwest side for Sunday's Indian Maid Stakes. They are two of 12 fillies and mares entered in the $50,000 Indian Maid, a turf race at 1 1/16-miles.

Mumtaz and Great Fever are by the French sire Kaldoun, though they are not related on the female side of their families. Mumtaz, a 5-year-old, has been in the U.S. a year longer than Great Fever, who is 4. Family ties aside, the relationship between the two that matters most to bettors is which horse will run faster Sunday.

And that is difficult to say. Mumtaz, with nearly $350,000 in her bankroll, has accomplished more, but Great Fever is lightly raced and may have a greater upside than her older rival. Mumtaz hasn't raced since Nov. 11, but her layoff came about by design, and trainer Tom Amoss points out that the mare runs well fresh.

Mumtaz, owned by Ronald Kirk and others, had been off for nine months when she returned to action a year ago and won the $200,000 WinStar Distaff Handicap at Lone Star. Amoss had been pointing Mumtaz to a defense of her title in the WinStar, but changed directions at the last minute, when he decided the Lone Star race was attracting better horses than he preferred Mumtaz to face in her first start of the year.

Mumtaz has been training at Churchill, where she's put in several workouts over the turf course. Amoss said that training on the turf - which isn't permitted at many racetracks - is an advantage for Mumtaz. "She gets more out of her works that way," Amoss said.

Great Fever is part of a Wayne Catalano-trained, Frank Calabrese-owned entry with Golden Antigua. Golden Antigua won the Nicole Stakes here on opening day in her first start since being claimed for $60,000. Jockey Shane Laviolette has been named on both horses, and if one scratches, it's more likely to be Golden Antigua.

Great Fever was an easy winner of a turf allowance race at Keeneland last month, rallying strongly on the turn and drawing off in the stretch. The concern in the Indian Maid is distance - Great Fever runs best at 10 furlongs and up, and Sunday's race is on the short side for her.

Tender Hearted probe completed

Hawthorne Race Course completed its investigation Friday into a horse whose physical well-being at the time of its participation in a race last Sunday was called into question. Tender Hearted finished a badly beaten eighth as the 6-5 favorite in the fourth race on May 20, prompting the racetrack to probe the circumstances surrounding her failure.

At press time Friday, Thomas Carey III, Hawthorne's director of operations, said that he had not yet had a chance to review an investigative report compiled by Dan Groth, Hawthorne's head of security.

A similar investigation by the Illinois Racing Board also is under way. Marc Laino, deputy director of the IRB, said he expected results of the IRB investigation to be available Tuesday or Wednesday.

Tender Hearted was the subject of a disputed workout eight days before she ran here. Her physical well-being was called into question after an unusually slow three-furlong work here May 19. Jockey Chris Emigh refused to ride Tender Hearted after warming her up before Sunday's race, but track veterinarians found no reason to scratch her.

Tender Hearted now is on the veterinarian's list, and must post a five-furlong work with her race rider up before she will be allowed to race again.