Raging Fever will go to post under high weight of 120 pounds in Friday's $100,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park as the six-time stakes winner will attempt to continue the bicoastal hot streak of 4-year-old fillies owned by Edward Evans and trained by Mark Hennig.
Last Friday, Fashion Stakes winner With Ability romped to a 9 1/2-length victory in an Aqueduct allowance race a day before Summer Colony earned her sixth consecutive win in the La Canada Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita. In late January, fellow six-time stakes winner Gold Mover won her 4-year-old debut at Gulfstream under Eibar Coa. That victory came eight days after Raging Fever made her seasonal debut with a win in Gulfstream's six-furlong First Lady Handicap (gr. III). The four are a combined four-for-five this year, with the lone loss a sixth-place finish by With Ability in Xtra Heat's Interborough Handicap win on New Year's Day.
Among those opposing Raging Fever in the Shirley Jones are First Lady runner-up Cat Cay and Tugger, who finished second to Cat Cay in the one-mile Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct in November. Previously last year, Tugger defeated Cat Cay in a Saratoga allowance race at the Shirley Jones distance of seven furlongs.
An Ogden Phipps homebred, Cat Cay is a daughter of Pleasant Colony produced from the Alydar mare Cadillacing, Cat Cay won the Thoroughbred Club of America (gr. III) at Keeneland one start prior to the Top Flight. Claude "Shug" McGaughey trains Cat Cay.
Anstu Stables Tugger earned a graded blacktype win in the one-mile Noble Damsel (gr. III) in September, three starts after earning her first stakes win in the five-furlong Klassy Briefcase Stakes at Monmouth Park. Trainer Todd Pletcher wll give jockey Jerry Bailey a leg up on Friday.
The field for the Shirley Jones will consist of:
1 -- Irish Fantasy, Jon Kenton Court, 113
2 -- Tugger, Jerry Bailey, 115
3 -- Celtic Melody, Jorge Chavez, 111
4 -- Cat Cay, Pat Day, 118
5 -- Raging Fever, John Velazquez, 120
6 -- Vague Memory, 112
7 -- Superduper Miss, Tom Turner, 113