12/02/2010 2:54PM

Waccamaw out for stakes breakthough


A speedy synthetic specialist, Waccamaw has accomplished much on all-weather surfaces, compiling a record of 3 wins, 5 seconds, and a third in 12 starts on such tracks. Pretty much just one thing has eluded her: a stakes victory.

That missing accomplishment could soon be added to her r é sum é Saturday if she runs to her potential and wins against an overflow cast in the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes at Turfway Park.

Although she faces a deep cast of 11 opponents in the body of the field – including Minewander, Helen Belen, Cauy’s Humor, and Pretty Slic Chick – and two more lie in wait on the also eligible list, Waccamaw is deserving of favoritism and likely the horse to catch.

She tops the field in earnings this year, having made more than $131,000 in eight races, and she has done so while facing at times some of the elite female sprinters in the country.

Most notably, she ran fourth in the Grade 3 Presque Masters Sept. 11, holding the lead until the late stages before being passed by Informed Decision, Dubai Majesty, and Sweet Lorena. She was just 1 1/4 lengths behind Informed Decision at the finish.

Since that race she ran eighth in the Grade 2 TCA at Keeneland Oct. 9 behind Dubai Majesty, the eventual Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner; second in the Oct. 31 Ontario Fashion Stakes at Woodbine; and sixth in the Bessarabian Stakes there Nov. 21.

Trainer Bob Gorham, who trains Waccamaw, a 4-year-old War Chant filly, for Mast Thoroughbreds, said her sixth in the Bessarabian was a combination of that race being seven furlongs, a bit longer than what she prefers, and because of her catching a talented cast.

“It came up tougher than I anticipated,” he said.

The Holiday Inaugural is seemingly less demanding, the six-furlong distance of the race better suits dare-to-catch style of Waccamaw. Jon Court rides.

Cauy’s Humor looms one of her primary challengers. Owning the top last-race Beyer Speed Figure – an 87, earned running second in a five-furlong grass race at Churchill Downs Nov. 19 – she appears dangerous with the shift from turf to Polytrack, a surface over which she won a maiden race at Keeneland in April of 2009, defeating eventual stakes winners Silver Time and Careless Jewel.

Dean Marnagh is aboard Cauy’s Humor, one of two Rusty Arnold-trained fillies in the race, along with late-running Perfect for You.