By Mike Paradise
Lady’s Party had a modest 2-year-old campaign for trainer Mike Titus, making a little over $9,000 in a handful of starts. The ICF filly’s sophomore season could be a lot busier and a lot more rewarding in terms of money earned for her Charleston, Illinois owners.
The Party At Artsplace filly is the first foal of the Fox Valley Arsenic mare Murvy’s Lady and brought only $1,000 at the 2015 Illinois Classic Sale was sold to her original owners and then was acquired by Mike and Mitch Titus and Dennis Wright two months before her winning 1:57.4 debut at Hawthorne last June.
“We bought Lady’s Party last April. She wasn’t staked to anything last year but she’s eligible for all the major ICF stakes this year. After her second qualifier last year (1:57.1 at Hawthorne) we thought she could go on to be something special. We only started her 5 of 6 times last year with two qualifiers and stopped with her in late September. We hoped we did right with her and we’re looking for some big things from her as a 3-year-old.”
Lady’s Party ended her freshman season with back-to-back victories at Hawthorne in 1:56.1 and 1:55.4. It was her effort in a Department of Agriculture at Springfield that caught my eye, dropping a scant a nose decision in 1:53.3 to Princess Sage, 2016 ICF 2-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year).
“She’s real easy around the barn area and an easy mare to take care of,” continued Mike Titus who was born, raised and has spent all of his 62 years living in the city of Charleston, Illinois, a cozy community that is the home of Eastern Illinois University. “Lady’s Party was a small filly last year but she grew a lot over the winter. She’s now a good-size mare now. She likes racing. She was rambunctious when we took her to the paddock at Hawthorne, kicking and bucking in her stall but then she calmed down, put her head down and rested.”Lady’s Party then went out and put $4,500 on her card by breezing on the front-end with driver Casey Leonard. She was almost three lengths the best in 1:56.4 after the wagering public bet her down to 1 to5 odds.
The victory sealed a starting berth in the $10,000 added Dave Magee Final on May 27th for Lady’s Party but there’s more money to be made ($4,500) with another win in tonight’s second leg of the series.
With the two-slot in the third race of tonight’s Dave Magee Lady’s Party opens at 6-5 and her odds will likely only go downward with Rousey Ronda (Ridge Warren), the other Leg One Magee winner, landing the outside nine-slot.
Do You Dare (Jim Lackey), My Uptown Girl (Mike Oosting), Day of Decision (Tyler Shehan), Beamer N Bud (Brian Carpenter), Fancy Creek Jolene (Juan Franco), Giftfromtheheart (Jamaica Patton) and Miss Tennessee (Kyle Husted) are the other third race hopefuls.
Gary Rath’s C Far, second best to Rousey Ronda a week ago, is the 9-5 favorite in the first Magee division, going from the seven-slot to the rail this week. Other first race candidates are Frontier Shirley, (RS Finn), Jewels Hall (Juan Franco), Smiles Ahead (Kyle Wilfong), Revin The Engine (Mike Oosting), Fox Valley Maya (Freddie Patton Jr.), Little Adaline (Larry Plank) and Rosebud’s First *Tim Curtin)/
The seventh race single division of the Walter Paisley Series looks like the best event of the night with its bulky field of 11 fillies and mares and really no-clear cut favorite.
Phyllis Jean (Casey Leonard) who held on last week in the first leg of the Paisley, drew Hawthorne’s dreaded 10-hole. Nonetheless, the 4-year-old mare does have gate speed and might get a spot up-close in decent shape to win right back.
However, Alabamashakey (Mike Oosting) has the rail again and another journey on or close to the front appears likely. She could very well avenge last week’s neck loss to Phyllis Jean.
Then there’s Burry Me Inthesand who certainly came out ready for her 3-year-old with an easy 1:54.1 win in her Paisley leg. Trained by her owner and driver Gary Rath the now 4-year-old ICF mare landed a favorable post (the two) and likes Hawthorne, winning on its big oval four times in 2016. One of her five second place finishes was to Phyllis Jean last September.
The seventh race, Paisley will have posts 3 through 9, manned by Lacarmeliana (Matt Avenatti), Hot Cakes (Bob Smolin), Norma Rei (Frank Petreli), Hope Hotspur (Juan Franco, Fox Valley Dancy (Kyle Wilfong) Delightfully Wild (Jim Lackey) and Rockaroundheaven (Kyle Husted). No. 11 Leehan Pearl (Tyler Shehan) starts in the second tier behind Alabamashakey.