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Closers Rate Look in Marian

September 23, 2002|MARK RATZKY

Patience could be the key to finding a winner in today's CTBA Marian Stakes.

The pace figures to be hot and heavy in this mile-and-a-sixteenth event, and Shalini and Barely Daylight figure to save their best for last and battle it out when it counts.

Both of these fillies are coming off the Aug. 29 grass event at Del Mar, and while Barely Delight won that day and Shalini had to settle for a close fourth-place finish, the tables could turn under these conditions. Shalini's biggest advantage may be that she's the only member of the cast to race around these tight turns, and the result was a seven-length victory in her debut last season. While she was trying to make up ground behind a sluggish pace in that last try, the fractions should be swift here, and the table will be set for late heroics under Scott Stevens.

Barely Daylight is another who loves to play track-and-attack, and she arrives razor sharp for Caesar Dominguez. Although her last three starts have come over the turf, including that dead-heat decision last month, she broke her maiden over the dirt at Hollywood Park and looms large with Matt Garcia.

The most interesting jockey angle in the CTBA Marian revolves around Tyler Baze, who has been the regular rider for Shalini but now shows up on Ladylore for trainer Bill Spawr. Her last couple of efforts at Del Mar were poor, but she's the only stakes winner in the field, having upset the Melair at 30-1 in late April, and she's another with the preferred closing style.

The picks: 1. Whos On Third 2. Twilight Career 3. Larose 4. Fortifier 5. Chinois 6. Rhythm And Bloom 7. Song Of Bernadette 8. Osho 9. Shalini 10. Flom N X S.

First post: 12:30 p.m.

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