Rodney G. Lundock’s Florida homebred Maryquitecontray, who was second to two-time champion female sprinter Goodnight Olive in last year’s Grade 1 Madison, will take another crack at the $600,000 contest for fillies and mares Saturday at Keeneland.

The seven-furlong distance of the Resolute Racing Madison fits Maryquitecontrary nicely, having won half of her 12 starts at the distance with three seconds and two thirds. Her only finish out of the top three at seven panels came when seventh in last year’s Grade 1 Ballerina won by champion Echo Zulu over a muddy Saratoga track in August.

Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., Maryquitecontrary looks to improve on two third-place finishes in her last two starts including when four-and-half lengths behind winner Olivia Darling in the Grade 2 Inside Information going seven furlongs at Gulfstream on Jan. 27. She returns to her favored distance after trying a mile-and-a-sixteenth in the Grade 3 Royal Delta won by Honor D Lady at Gulfstream Park in her last start on Feb. 17.

Maryquitecontrary is by Double Diamond Farm’s First Dude out of Mary Kate ‘n Kelly, by Mecke. She has won seven with three seconds in two thirds in 14 career starts and an estimated $300,000 first-place check Saturday would push her near the million-dollar mark as she enters the Madison with $641,055.

Set at 10-1 on the morning line, Maryquitecontrary has drawn post five and her longtime regular rider, Luca Panici, will again be aboard.

Alva Starr makes her second start of the year in the Madison after winning the $150,000 American Beauty in the mud going six furlongs at Oaklawn Park in her last race on Feb. 3.

The 4-year-daughter of Lord Nelson makes her second career start at Keeneland after finishing second to Madison-rival Vahva in the Grade 2 Raven Run there in October.

Alva Star is owned by P. Dale Ladner and has never finished worse than second in seven career starts, four of which are victories. She also counts the Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga in September and the $100,000 Dashing Beauty at Delaware Park in July among her three stakes wins.

With career earnings of $420,400, Alva Starr is the 5-2 morning line second choice and will break from post six with Tyler Gaffalione aboard.

Vahva is the 2-1 program favorite after winning her last two races including the aforementioned Raven Run and the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks going six furlongs on Aug. 25.

She is trained by Cherie DeVaux for Belladona Racing LLC, Edward Jr. Hudson Jr., West Point Thoroughbreds LBD Stable LLC, Nice Guys Stables, Manganaro Bloodstock, Runnels Racing, Steve Hornstock and Twin Brook Stables.

The 4-year-old daughter of Gun Runner has won four of 10 career starts with three seconds and earnings of $873,810.

Irad Oritz will ride Vahva for the first time and they have the outside post eight.

Rounding out the field are recent Tampa Bay Downs overnight handicap-winner Sterling Silver and jockey Javier Castellano, Luis Saez rides Hurricane Bertie (G3)-winner Red Carpet Ready, Hot and Sulty has Ricardo Santano Jr. scheduled to ride, Icicles will be ridden by Edgar Morales and Big Pond with jockey Flavien Prat.

Return to the April 4 issue of Wire to Wire