McBurney will send his charge Mare On Fire into this Friday’s feature race, a
$36,000 allowance event for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward.
In her last
race Mare On Fire tried turf for the first time and was beaten by less than a
length to claim second place after traveling a mile at Monmouth on July 25. She
and an overflowing field of 12 are set to go a mile and a sixteenth on the
grass in Friday’s feature.
“She really woke up on the grass,”
McBurney said. “She ran fantastic and she looked like she really liked that
surface. She seemed much faster on the turf so that’s where her future is.”
A 3-year-old filly by Northern Afleet out of This Cat Can Dance, Mare On Fire will
break from the outside post, and although McBurney believes she can handle the
distance, he is not thrilled about the prospect of starting so far outside.
distance should be no problem for her,” said McBurney, “but you hate being that
far outside in a race like this because you’re going to lose a couple lengths
on each turn probably, but we just hope she can work out a nice trip.”
Mare On Fire traditionally comes from off the pace, McBurney has adopted a new
strategy with his horse now running on the turf.
“She really surprised us the last
time being in front because in her dirt races she’s closed every time,”
McBurney said. “Looking at this race there doesn’t seem to be a lot of speed
either. You hate to use her too much from the outside post but she should be
pretty forwardly placed and hopefully not be more than two wide for that first
Jockey Ramon Moya will return to
ride Mare On Fire in Friday’s feature race, which goes as race 9 on the 10-race