Merry Meadow Tries to Keep Rolling in Inside Information
March 18, 2015 11:51am
Merry Meadow, winner of the 2014 Sugar Swirl
Photo: Gulfstream/Leslie Martin Photo
Merry Meadow is scheduled to seek her fourth straight stakes victory, including her third triumph of the Championship Meet, in Saturday’s $200,000 Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

William Parsons and David Howe’s home-bred turf star has dominated her competition since shipping to South Florida last fall, drawing away to a convincing victory in the Sky Beauty Stakes at Gulfstream Park West on Nov. 1, before registering triumphs in the Sugar Swirl (G3) on Dec. 13 and the Hurricane Bertie (G3) on Feb. 14 at Gulfstream.

“She’s on a roll. Sometimes you worry when it’s going to end, but she keeps doing so well,” trainer Mark Hennig said. “We talk about wanting to give her a little break, but she doesn’t act like she wants one.”

Merry Meadow’s winning ways, though, took time to develop. The 5-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes showed talent right from the start but didn’t break her maiden until her 11th career start after finishing first, second or third in nine of her first 10 starts. She followed up her maiden victory at Belmont Park on July 12, 2013 with an allowance win at Saratoga six weeks later.

“Even when she finished second, she was trying or, as least, it seemed like she was trying. She just needed a win to break through. She was a big heavy horse early in her career,” Hennig said. “Sometimes they need to win to break through. You see it happen with a lot of people, like a golfer or tennis player. They play the bridesmaid all the time and then they win, and all of a sudden they win a bunch in a row.”

After winning her first two races, Merry Meadow went on to race competitively in stakes company before winning her first stakes eight races later in the Vagrancy (G3) last May at Belmont.  But she really blossomed for Hennig upon arriving in South Florida.

“I think it’s a matter that she’s got her confidence. Before she started winning all these races, I changed up how I trained her a bit,” said Hennig, whose trainee has finished first, second or third in 23 of 26 lifetime races. “You just have to space her races out and don’t train her too hard.”

Javier Castellano has the return mount aboard Merry Meadow in the race that drew a field of seven fillies and mares, including graded-stakes winner Classic Point and Sweet Whiskey, both of whom are slated to make their 2105 debuts Saturday.

The James Jerkens-trained Classic Point finished off her 2014 campaign to become a stakes winner with back-to-back wins in the Punkin Pie at Belmont and the Go For Wand (G3) at Aqueduct.

Paco Lopez has the mount aboard Classic Point.

Sweet Whiskey finished fourth after setting the pace in the Go For Wand in her 2014 finale. The Todd Pletcher-trained 4-year-old filly captured the Old Hat (G3) at Gulfstream Park last season. Hall of Famer John Velazquez has been named to ride the daughter of Old Fashioned.

David Hinsley-trained You Bought Her, winner of the six-furlong Minaret Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, is set to contest the Inside Information with a record of four wins in six starts at the seven-furlong distance.

Trainer Marty Wolfson entered a trio of distaffers in the Inside Information, including   Best Behavior, Centrique and Quiet Hour.

Source: Gulfstream Park


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