Three-year-old filly Marietta, who has two straight Oaks wins to her credit, will have to be at her best to make it three in a row in Friday's Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) at Hoosier Park. The daughter of Machiavellian will break from post nine in the 12-horse field under co-topweight of 121 pounds.
Marietta should prove more than comfortable with the 1 1/16-mile dirt distance. Trained by Eoin Harty, she won the Iowa Oaks (gr. III) in June at that distance and then took the Arlington Oaks (gr. III) at 1 1/8 miles. Rafael Bejarano, who rode her in the Iowa race, returns to ride.
One who figures to be closing strongly at the end is New York invader Boca Grande. Trained by Shug McGaughey, the A.P. Indyfilly rallied to finish fourth in the Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) and second in the Test Stakes (gr. I), both sprints at Saratoga. She won the Comely Stakes (gr. II) at a mile in April at Aqueduct.
Appealing Zophie, a daughter of Successful Appeal trained by Steve Asmussen, won the Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles at Fair Grounds in the winter. Her best start since then came when she was beaten 4 1/2 lengths in the Prioress Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park in July.
Asmussen also will saddle Humble Janet, who ran second in the Iowa and Arlington Oaks. In between those two races, the Humble Eleven filly ran a commendable fourth in the lengthy Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) at Belmont.
Forest Huntress, by Forestry, might prove tough if the track comes up sloppy. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee won the mile Penny Ridge Stakes at Stampede Park by 15 1/2 lengths two races back.
Bavarian Belle, by More Than Ready , could prove tough if she gets the lead. In her last start, the Summer Finale Handicap a month earlier at Mountaineer, she got out to the lead and won the mile and 70 yard race by 4 1/4 lengths. Scooter Davis trains.
Ticket to Seattle also boasts a stakes win this year and a graded placing in her last start. Trained by Steve Klesaris, the daughter of Capote won the Peach Blossom Stakes at Delaware Park and ran a smart second in the Endine Handicap (gr. III) there in September.
Polynesian Kitty, a High Yield filly, not only goes into the race off a stakes win, but also boasts a 13-length stakes win several races back. Her most recent score came in the Matron Breeders' Cup by 5 3/4 lengths Sept. 22. Jamie Ness is the trainer.
Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III), Hoosier Park, Time 9:50
Post Horse Weight Jockey
1 Humble Janet 112 Robby Albarado
2 Le Chateau 118 Terry Thompson
3 Ticket to Seattle 114 Kendrick Carmouche
4 Appealing Zophie 121 Shaun Bridgmohan
5 Forest Huntress 118 Orlando Mojica
6 Polynesian Kitty 118 T.D. Houghton
7 Bavarian Belle 118 Rodney Prescott
8 Boca Grande 121 Julien Leparoux
9 Marietta 121 Rafael Bejarano
10 Marquise 112 Larry Melancon
11 Amature's Prize 116 William Troilo
12 Tessa Blue 112 Mike Smith
AE Unforgotten 112 Jamie Theriot