12/16/2010 2:34PM

Antares World looks strong on turf or Tapeta in Pacific Heights

Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography
Antares World will prep for the Sunshine Millions in Saturday's $75,000 Pacific Heights at Golden Gate Fields.

Even though trainer Steve Specht admits that Saturday’s $75,000 Pacific Heights at Golden Gate Fields is more or less a Sunshine Millions prep race for Antares World, the 3-year-old filly will be a heavy favorite against her five older rivals in the 1 1/8-mile turf event.

Rain may force Golden Gate officials to switch the race from turf to the Tapeta main track, and that could actually work in favor of Antares World, because her primary rivals, Catsalot and I Can Hear, are both winless on synthetic surfaces.

Antares World hasn’t raced since running third as the favorite in the Harold Ramser at Hollywood Park on Oct. 17, but Specht said her one-mile work in 1:41.20 at Golden Gate on Dec. 9 should have her “plenty fit.”

Antares World has had an outstanding year, highlighted by victories on the Tapeta in the California Oaks and on turf in the Golden Poppy, both at Golden Gate, and a second in the Grade 1 American Oaks on the grass at Hollywood in July. Her last victory came in a Golden Gate allowance on the turf in September.

If Antares World runs well in the Pacific Heights, Specht intends to run her in the Sunshine Millions on Jan. 29, either in the Distaff at Santa Anita or the Filly and Mare Turf at Gulfstream.

Considering Antares World’s 4-for-7 record on synthetic surfaces and her main rivals’ record on the surface, Specht won’t mind if the race comes off the turf.

Specht is looking for his second straight victory in the Pacific Heights. He won the race with Lady Railrider last year.

Catsalot finished second in a turf stakes at Del Mar, but is 0 for 7 on synthetic surfaces. She comes off a fifth-place finish in the California Cup Matron at Hollywood in October.

I Can Hear, like Catsalot a Southern California invader, comes off an entry-level allowance win on the turf at Hollywood last month. Before that, she ran fifth in the California Cup Distaff, a turf sprint. She is 0 for 3 on synthetics.

Blue Moon High has only a maiden win and is making her stakes debut, as is the claimer Taylor Jean.

Specht also has entered Shes a Lucky Wager, who was second to Lady Railrider in last year’s Pacific Heights but is looking for her first win of the year.