Mae Never No takes on boys in Speakeasy Stakes
Courtesy of Steve Andersen of DRF.com
ARCADIA, Calif. – Mae Never No was sent from Kentucky to California last month for Saturday’s $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita. The hope for Ice Wine Stable and trainer Wesley Ward is that a win will lead to a greater goal – the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2.
Mae Never No is the only filly in a field of seven in the five-furlong turf race for 2-year-olds. Ward thinks Mae Never No is worthy of the journey and is a Breeders’ Cup contender. Plus, his stable is loaded with Juvenile Turf Sprint candidates.
“I’ve got too many,” he said on Thursday morning.
Mae Never No is the only stakes winner in the field, having won the Colleen Stakes for fillies at five furlongs by seven lengths on Aug. 4. The race was transferred from turf to a sloppy and sealed main track at Monmouth Park.
“She took off and ran away from them,” Ward said.
Mae Never No is quick and will be tested from the start in the Speakeasy Stakes. The winner receives a fees-paid berth for the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint, which will be run at 5 1/2 furlongs.
Mae Never No, by No Nay Never
Last 3 Beyers: 69-69-72
◗ Mae Never No has yet to start on turf, but did work on the Keeneland turf course in the summer.
◗ Mae Never No will be ridden by Gary Stevens, who was aboard for a maiden win in her debut at Belmont Park on May 3 and a third to males in the Tremont Stakes there on June 8.
“She’s very, very fast,” Ward said.
Hartel, by City Zip
Last 3 Beyers: 68-64-39
◗ Hartel is the lone runner in the field to have won on turf, taking a maiden special weight race at five furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 8. Trained by Peter Miller, Hartel was second in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf at a mile on Sept. 2 after leading by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining. He finished three-quarters of a length behind King of Speed, a candidate for Monday’s Zuma Beach Stakes.
Owning, by Flashback
Last 3 Beyers: 52-62-72
◗ Owning won his debut in a maiden special weight race at Los Alamitos in July, but struggled in stakes at Del Mar, finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 11 and seventh after a slow start in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf.
◗ Trainer Simon Callaghan said the distance of the Juvenile Turf worked against Owning.
“I think shortening up in distances will be a big help for him,” Callaghan said. “He liked the turf last time, but it was too far for him.”
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