01/20/2011 12:59PM

Advantage Player steps up to stakes on short rest


ARCADIA, Calif. – Just nine days after she beat maidens in a 22-1 upset, Advantage Player will be back on Santa Anita’s hillside turf course for Saturday’s $75,000 Sweet Life Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

While the timing of the race is not ideal, trainer Peter Miller said the opportunity is too good to pass.

“She bounced out of the race so good,” Miller said. “It’s hard to find the down-the-hill spots. If we pass this, we would probably be waiting two months to run her back.”

The Sweet Life Stakes is run over about 6 1/2 furlongs on turf. In a maiden race on Jan. 13, Advantage Player led throughout and won by 1 1/2 lengths, her second career start and first on turf. She finished sixth in a maiden race at Hollywood Park last May, but emerged from the race with sore shins.

“She looks like the speed of the race again,” Miller said. “We’re not 100 percent to run. I’m watching her and seeing how she’s doing. It looks like she’s bounced back.”

Owned by Doubledown Stables, Advantage Player will have a new jockey in the Sweet Life in Joel Rosario. He replaces Corey Nakatani, who was aboard for the maiden race win but is committed to ride Cloneylass.

Trained by Jamie Lloyd, Cloneylass was third in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 28, her second and final start for trainer Rick Dutrow. The filly was transferred to Lloyd the following day. Cloneylass began her career with trainer Jessica Harrington in Ireland, where she beat maidens and was third in the Tipperary Stakes at the racecourse of the same name in July.

Lloyd said the sprint distance of the Sweet Life may a better fit than the Miesque Stakes over a mile for Cloneylass, an Irish-bred filly by Verglas. “She’s bred to run a little shorter,” Lloyd said. “She’ll probably come from off of it.”

The Sweet Life Stakes has a field of 10, including She’ll Heir, who won the Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park last June. She’ll Heir is making her first start on turf in the Sweet Life Stakes.

◗ Saturday’s fifth race is named in honor of Jerry Antonucci, who retired as a public handicapper in September. Antonucci spent 37 years as a handicapper for the defunct Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and, in recent years, the Orange County Register.