The 2008 Maywood Park stakes season opens up Friday night with the $20,000 Desperate Lady.
Eight state-bred sophomore filly pacers will slug in out in the ninth race feature that honors the Illinois Horse of the Year in1983 who captured 26 of 33 starts, and earned over $273,000 in her three-year-old campaign.
The early Friday feature favoritism goes to Westside Gritty (2-1), who shares the Balmoral track standard for a two-year-old pacing filly with a 1:52.4 clocking; Kennan's Kalli (5-2), who dropped a narrow neck decision to Westside Gritty in this month's Direct Balance stake at Balmoral, and Renovation (7-2), a winner in February of a leg of the Tender Loving Care Series at The Meadowlands.
Westside Gritty will leave from the one-slot with Brent Holland. Kennans Kelli has the six-post with Mike Oosting and Renovation the two with Ryan Anderson. They'll be challenged by Chloe's Z Tam (20-1), Fourtwenythree (12-1), I'm All Sporty (8-1), Mysticole Maggie (10-1) and Dingy's Model (10-1).
Westside Gritty equaled Ohyouprettything's freshman track record at Balmoral in her Orange and Blue elimination when she raced in her first season for the John Butenschoen Stable. Theoffspring was sent to The Meadowlands Sale in January where she was sold for $110,000 to John Carver of Rapid, City, IL and New Yorkers John Fodera and Joseph Petrera.
Trainer Erv Miller had his new sophomore filly ready for her second season after two March qualifiers at Balmoral. She beat older fillies and mares with a quick 1:53.1 clocking in an April 2 conditioned pace at Balmoral and four nights later came back to post a neck decision over Kennan's Kelli in the Direct Balance stake.
"Westside Gritty is a fast," said her driver Brent Holland. "Only time will tell how good she'll be but she does have the potential to be a very good filly."
Trainer Joel Smith sent Kennans Kelli to The Big M under the care of trainer Julie Miller for the homebred's four five season starts. She picked up purse checks in her first two conditioned races in New Jersey before going unplaced in two legs of the Tender Loving Care Series. The filly came back to her Valparaiso, Indiana home where she was rested for six weeks. She followed a fifth place finish in a conditioned pace at Balmoral with a pair of victories and a narrow loss to Westside Gritty in the Direct Balance.
Kennan's Kelli made two starts at Maywood in her first season, finishing fourth in her Violet stake elimination and then winning the Violet consolation last October for owner and breeder Ken Spurlock.
Renovation's trainer Jason Wilson, who shares ownership with Charles Knipp of Madison, Wisconsin, sent thefilly to trainer Scott Di Domenico in New Jersey where she made her first ten season starts and earned over $23,000 racing on the east coast.
Renovation started the year off with a pair of triumphs in conditioned paces at Freehold. The filly then took opening round (1:53.4) of the Tender Loving Care Series with Tim Tetrick before finishing fifth in the final. She went to Yonkers for the New York track's Petticoat Series, finishing second, third and again third in those series legs and then fourth in the series consolation.
As a two-year-old, Renovation won an ISOBA stake and was the runner-up in the Sarah Myers stake, both at Balmoral. The filly posted a third place finish (1:58.3) in her only Maywood Park freshman pari-mutuel start. Both of her first season qualifiers were second place finishes at Maywood.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity, Maywood Park