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'Rhythm Returns in Marshua's River

Paul Pompa, Jr.’s 5-year-old mare Backseat Rhythm, a Grade 1 winner as a 3-year-old, bids to get her career back on track in Saturday’s $100,000 Marshua’s River Stakes at Gulfstream Park. She and jockey Javier Castellano will have to negotiate a reasonable trip, however, as they drew the far outside post position in the 1 1/16 miles turf test.


A daughter of El Corredor, Backseat Rhythm won the Lake Placid Stakes (G2) at Saratoga, Garden City (G1) at Belmont Park and finished second in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland to climax her 2008 campaign for trainer Patrick Reynolds, but makes her first start this year now trained by Rick Dutrow.

Early last year, Backseat Rhythm won the Hillsborough Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs in mid-March, but her form tailed off sharply finishing fifth in each of three graded stakes tries in the spring for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, her last in the ‘off the turf’ New York Stakes (G3) at Belmont on June 20 won by emerging main track star Icon Project.

Other leading contenders in the Marshua’s River are Stuart Janney III’s 5-year-old mare Quiet Harbor with Eddie Castro aboard for trainer Shug McGaughey, Ronchalon Stable’s 5-year-old Irish-bred mare Belle Allure with jockey Edgar Prado to ride for trainer Christophe Clement and Frank Calabrese’s 4-year-old filly Romacaca and regular rider E.T. Baird in the saddle for trainer Danny Miller.

Quiet Harbor is a Kentucky homebred daughter of Silver Deputy that will bid for a fifth straight victory after running through her conditions at Monmouth Park over the summer and completing her campaign by capturing the Violet Stakes (G3) at Meadowlands last out on Oct. 10.

Belle Allure is another French import success story for Clement as she produced a solid campaign winning two of four starts in New York last year with a second and a third. The daughter of Numerous was competitive in French Group stakes in 2008 and makes her first start since capturing the Athenia Stakes (G3) at Belmont on Oct. 21.

Romacaca was claimed here last April for $25,000 by her current connections out of a winning race and won her next three straight at Arlington Park, including a pair of overnight stakes. The daughter of Running Stag went on to finish second in the Pucker Up (G3) in early September and a good third last out in the Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 14.

Completing the field for the Marshua’s River are Haras Santa Maria de Araras’ Scolara, Statehouse Stable’s Nehantic Kat, Del Ridge Farm’s Bluegrass Princess, Chiefswood Stable’s Lomaki, Charles Fipke’s Lady Shakespeare, Michael and Lenora Paulson’s Our Dahlia, Dennis Federico’s Maddy’s Heart, Fred Seitz’ Meadow Saffron and Wertheimer et Frere’s West Ocean.

Fox Hill Farm’s Song of Solomon is listed ‘main track only’ for trainer Anthony Dutrow.

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