Updated on 09/17/2011 10:24AM

Will the old Private Son show up?


CHICAGO - Private Son's Grade 3 stakes form in 2002 would beat the 11 rivals entered against him Friday in the $40,000 Overage Stakes at Hawthorne, but placings of seventh, ninth, and seventh in his last three starts have cast a shadow of doubt over Private Son.

Maybe Private Son has mixed bad luck and "B" races in two disappointing efforts to start his season, but Private Son, a 5-year-old who has had injury problems in the past, has something to prove in the Overage, which is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Private Son, according to trainer Sally Schu, was thrown off his game when he had trouble early in his seasonal debut March 22 at Gulfstream, and might not have cared for Keeneland's drying-out turf course when he ran back in the Grade 2 Maker's Mark Mile on April 11.

"He's perfectly fine," said Schu, who trains Private Son for owner Starlex Farm. "We went over him completely, and there's nothing wrong with him. Physically, he's great, and he's been training great."

Happy with Private Son's training, Schu said she still realizes that sometimes when a horse's form starts to fade it never turns back around. "I hope we can get him back to where he was before," she said.

If Private Son fails to fire Friday, let the guessing begin. The rest of the field is closely matched, with Flamin' Jolie, perhaps the second-most talented horse in the race, marooned out in post 11.

And then there is Runaway Victor, king of the second-place finish. In 57 starts, Runaway Victor has won six times and run second 19, a trend even more pronounced on the Hawthorne grass, where he's been second in seven of 12 starts.

"If you've watched him, you know he could run second in a [$25,000] claimer or in a stakes," trainer Doug Matthews said of the 7-year-old gelding.

Even with such a strong will to place, Runaway Victor has amassed almost $280,000 in earnings, in great part because of his durability.

"The way he runs is probably why he's still around at this level after all this time," Matthews said. "He's not going to hurt himself trying to win."

Cadman suspended for rest of meet

With three wins in the first five races here Tuesday, jockey Zoe Cadman could have been entering the final weekend of this meet on a roll. But Hawthorne stewards suspended Cadman for a rough ride in a turf race last weekend, and she'll finish the Hawthorne meet on the sidelines.

"It's terrible timing, but there's nothing I can do about it," Cadman said.

Even with it's sour end, Cadman's spring has been important. With 27 wins, she seems to have cemented a position on this circuit after struggling with the transition from apprentice to journeyman rider last year.

"It got a little frustrating," Cadman said. "I guess I had a good enough year, but I'd like to think I could have done better."

Cadman's circumstances - a female rider, English, but born in South Africa - are unusual, and her ability to stick in Chicago is a result of hard work. Cadman still pounds the barns each morning, working horses for trainers even if she isn't booked to ride them.

"She's a very hard worker, and she radiates joy in what she does, and I think that transfers to the horses," trainer Michelle Boyce said. "I think she's improved dramatically. She can finish quite strongly on a horse now."

Cadman credits her agent, Jimmy Ernesto, who began booking her mounts in late December. "He's doing a really, really good job," Cadman said. "He's a hustler."

So is she.