Riv­elli has 2 for Show­time Deb

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Mar­cus Hersh

STICKNEY, Ill. – Two Larry Riv­elli-trained fil­lies fig­ure to be the short­est prices Satur­day in the $75,000 Show­time Deb Stakes for Illi­nois-bred 2-yearold fe­males.

Riv­elli demon­strated day-to­day dom­i­nance dur­ing the long Ar­ling­ton meet this year, but this is Hawthorne, not Ar­ling­ton, and like Riv­elli’s run­ners in gen­eral here this fall, both Richie’ s lil wild cat and Jean El­iz­a­beth could be vul­ner­a­ble.

Richie’ s lil wild cat is the morn­ing-line favorite in great part on the strength of a last-out win at Churchill Downs. There was noth­ing wrong with her per­for­mance. Rac­ing un­der a $75,000 claim­ing op­tion against first-level al­lowance horses, Richie’ s lil wild cat showed good speed and drew away to win by 5 1/2 lengths. But that race came at 5 1/2 fur­longs, and Richie’ s lil wild cat won her maiden over five fur­longs at Ar­ling­ton. With other pace play­ers to chal­lenge her early, Richie’ s lil wild cat could strug­gle to see out six fur­longs through Hawthorne’s long home­stretch.

Jean El­iz­a­beth might have shown more in her de­but win Aug. 19 at Ar­ling­ton than Richie’ s lil wild cat did in any of her four races, but Jean El­iz­a­beth didn’t re­turn to the work tab again un­til Oct. 6. She won a first-level al­lowance Oct. 12 at Hawthorne by more than eight lengths, but the per­for­mance was vis­ually me­diocre, and Jean El­iz­a­beth’s win­ning Beyer Speed Fig­ure plunged from a 79 to a 47. Just one slow half-mile work be­tween her last start and this one does lit­tle to quell con­cern that Jean El­iz­a­beth isn’t get­ting back to her best.

Strollin the Bayou has a case. Sec­ond to Jean El­iz­a­beth in their com­mon ca­reer de­but, Strollin the Bayou ran with­out Lasix in that race. She lost her chance with a stum­ble at the start in her sec­ond race, and then won an Illi­nois-bred Poly­track maiden sprint by seven lengths on clos­ing day at Ar­ling­ton. Trained by Chris Block, Strollin the Bayou is by Stroll and out of the Storm Boot mare Bayou Boots, and whether she copes with dirt and six fur­longs are open ques­tions.

Dis­tance and sur­face con­cerns also sur­round Speed Devil, but she’s still the pick to post a mild up­set. Speed Devil de­buted with a third-place fin­ish be­hind Jean El­iz­a­beth and Strollin the Bayou but was slow and balky at the gate that day and raced with­out Lasix. Switched to a two-turn turf mile sec­ond out by trainer Michele Boyce, Speed Devil re­sponded with a blowout open maiden win Oct. 19.

How much of a chance is there that Speed Devil re­pro­duces or im­proves upon that run Satur­day? Enough of one to make her a play at some­thing like her 6-1 morn­ing-line odds.

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