03/21/2008 11:00PM

Win Me Over brings best resume


Win Me Over should have little trouble winning over bettors in Monday's $36,000 third race at Hawthorne Park, a high-level allowance with a $100,000 claiming option at a mile and 70 yards. He is in top form, has the benefit of a race this year, and has a record of 4 wins, 3 seconds and 3 thirds in 13 starts over the Hawthorne main track.

Win Me Over, 7-2 on the morning line, started at a far higher price in his last start, the $50,000 Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway Park Feb. 16, when be went off as the longest shot in the 10-horse field at 50-1. He nearly pulled off a stunning upset, however, closing to finish second behind 11-1 race winner Self Made Man and rounding out a $904.20 exacta.

The race was one of Win Me Over's best, and it appears even stronger now a month later. The third-place finisher from that race, High Blues, returned and won the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes March 15 at Turfway, beating Self Made Man, who set the pace and finished second.

Brian Williamson, who trains Win Me Over for his mother-in-law, Nancy Vanier, said he considered running Win Me Over back at Turfway Park in the Tejano Run, but added, "I was praying this race would go here so I wouldn't have to ship him."

Being an Illinois-bred, Win Me Over is eligible for purse enhancements in Monday's third race, making it roughly equal to competing in a $50,000 stakes at Turfway, Williamson pointed out. The Hawthorne race also better serves as a potential prep for the April 26 Milwaukee Avenue Handicap at Hawthorne, a $100,000 race restricted to Illinois-breds.

Win Me Over, a 6-year-old gelded son of Friendly Lover, is no stranger to Illinois-bred stakes company, having won the $115,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity at Hawthorne as a 2-year-old in 2004.

Leading jockey Tim Thornton rides.

Batten also represents the Williamson barn in the third race, although he appears less likely to win because he is rising in class. He won a second-level allowance for Illinois-breds Jan. 3 in his last start.

Speedy Fair Grounds invader Tepexpan and the comebacking I'm Waiting for U look like Win Me Over's principal threats, particularly Tepexpan, who comes in off a pair of on-the-board finishes in third-level allowances in New Orleans this year.

I'm Waiting for U, a $50,000 claiming winner at Presque Isle in September, has not raced since finishing sixth in a tough turf allowance at Churchill Downs Nov.o2.