11/08/2009 1:00AM

Ambitious plans for Dancing in Silks


ARCADIA, Calif. - Dancing in Silks was considered to be just a good California-bred sprinter until his upset win in Saturday's at Santa Anita.

Now, trainer Carla Gaines is ready for a busy travel schedule in 2010 for Dancing in Silks, and very few, if any, stakes for statebreds.

With plans still being formed, Dancing in Silks is likely to be pointed to the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai in March, Gaines said. The fact that the race will be run on a Tapeta synthetic surface appeals to the trainer, whose stable is based in Southern California where all major tracks have a synthetic surface.

Next fall, Gaines hopes that Dancing in Silks can defend his BC Sprint title at Churchill Downs.

"We'll see how he likes the dirt," she said.

A month ago, Dancing in Silks had just won the California Cup Sprint, and Gaines and owner Ken Kinakin were debating whether to try the BC Sprint or the Turf Sprint. A big factor in the decision was the $160,000 supplemental entry fee that Kinakin faced to make the 4-year-old gelding eligible to the Sprint.

One day, it seemed Gaines preferred the Turf Sprint, the next day she talked of the Sprint. Sometimes, she thought of skipping the whole event.

"My hesitation was that I was concerned about the owner's investment," she said. "He said, 'It's my money and it's what I want to do.'"

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Dancing in Silks rallied from fourth to post a 25-1 upset with a nose win over Crown of Thorns, an 18-1 outsider. Cost of Freedom, whom Gaines trained until he was claimed away from her for $50,000 in 2008, was third.

The BC Sprint was Dancing in Silks's first start in a graded stakes, and was his third consecutive stakes win. He has won 7 of 13 starts and $1,447,622.

The disappointment in the field was Zensational, the 9-5 favorite, who could only finish fifth. He never took his customary position on the lead, and was out of contention on the turn.

Trainer Bob Baffert said on Sunday that jockey Victor Espinoza may have been reluctant to rush Zensational through the first quarter-mile from his rail post.

"He broke and was a little slow to get up in there," Baffert said. "I think [Espinoza] was afraid that if he went up there he'd go 20 flat. He audibled and it was horrendous."

Gaines and Baffert are stabled across from each other in the Santa Anita barn area.

The BC Sprint was the most lucrative win of Gaines's career. In 2007, she had a leading contender for the BC Filly and Mare Turf at Monmouth Park in Nashoba's Key, but that filly could only finish fourth on a soft course. Sadly, the temperamental Nashoba's Key was euthanized in May 2008 after kicking the side of her outdoor pen at Hollywood Park. Gaines, 57, still struggles to talk about the filly's death.

"Losing Nashoba's Key was the lowest point of my life," she said. "This is the highest."