Live Oak Plantation's Hide and Chic kept her 2006 record spotless with an impressive tally in the $161,600 Seaway Stakes (Can-III) Saturday at Woodbine.With jockey David Clark at the controls, Hide and Chic quickly collared favored Maryfield in early stretch and then galloped away to a two-length score in the 6 ½-furlong tilt for fillies and mares. Maryfield hung on for second, while Beautiful Bets came on for third. The wire was reached in 1:16.88.Trained by Malcolm Pierce, Hide and Chic, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old daughter of Seeking the Gold, was winning her second stakes race of the season in only her second start. Her belated campaign began on Aug. 7, when she roared from the back of the pack to win the Royal North Stakes at Woodbine by a neck at 48-1, in her turf debut. In the Seaway, over Woodbine's Polytrack surface, she was accorded much more respect, going postward the second choice at 7-2."Malcolm had her in great shape," said Clark, who also won several stakes, including the Seaway, aboard Hide and Chic's Sovereign Award-winning mom, Saoirse, during the 2000 season at Woodbine. "(There were) good speed horses in there and they all went. I laid off them a little bit and, when I picked her head up, she took me to the lead. She felt better today than she did the last time. Nobody's going to outrun her from the eighth-pole to the wire."The Seaway attracted a field of nine, including several imports. For the early part of the race, Annika Lass and Maryfield dueled on the front end, reaching the half in a sizzling :44.96 after the first quarter was clocked in :22.38.Maryfield, a former Woodbine runner who had been claimed in California by trainer Doug O'Neill, then poked her head in front briefly turning for home. But despite hanging on well, she proved no match for the winner."She sure handled it (Polytrack) well, just as well as she handled the turf," said Pierce. "I didn't have too much concern about the Polytrack. They say horses who like the turf will like the Polytrack. I was a little surprised when she broke on top, but David said she settled right back and let the speed horses set the pace."
Hide and Chic had been on the sidelines from last November until early August."I think she had a big year as a three-year-old (nine starts) and the Live Oak people like to give their horses some time and freshen them," Pierce said. "So I thank Live Oak for sending her in my direction. I think she's a one-turn filly, so, six and a-half, seven-eighths (is where she'll continue to run). I don't think we need to try two turns."Hide and Chic picked up a pot of $90,000 for the win, her fifth in 14 lifetime starts, to push her career bankroll to $372,308. She paid $9.40, $4.30, and $3.20, combining with Maryfield ($3.90, $2.60) for a $35.10 exacta. Beautiful Bets ($5.50) rounded out a $304 trifecta.Whispertoascream, La Trillium, Miss Concerto, Quite a Ruckus, Annika Lass, and High Button Shoes followed.(Chart, Equibase)