12/03/2009 12:00AM

Antares World shows guts and talent


The success of Antares World has been no surprise to trainer Steve Specht.

"I always told the owners she could be better than Lady Railrider," Specht said, referring to the multiple stakes winner bred and owned by Larry and Marianne Williams, who also bred and own Antares World.

Antares World is the likely favorite in Saturday's $50,000 Corte Madera Stakes, a one-mile stakes for 2-year-old fillies on the Tapeta main track at Golden Gate Fields.

A Decarchy filly, Antares World meets six rivals: Salty Fries and Bleach Blonde, second and third behind her in a one-mile optional claimer on Nov. 18; Dark Dolores, a winner in her last start; City to City, the runner-up in her last two starts; Quadriga, third behind City to City at Santa Anita in her last start; and the maiden On the Cover.

It took Antares World three starts to win a maiden race. She broke slowly in her debut, which came at Santa Rosa in August, "and she ran up some horses' butts and lost momentum," Specht said.

A third-place finish sprinting at Golden Gate in her second start didn't discourage Specht, because he believed, in retrospect, he should have scratched her after she had a runny nose five days before the race.

She won a six-furlong maiden race at Golden Gate by nine lengths in October, earning a 76 Beyer Speed Figure, but Specht wasn't sure if she won by so much because she was that good or perhaps her rivals were a bit suspect.

When he finally stretched her out to a mile in her last start, his high opinion was confirmed. The 1-2 favorite, she stalked the pace in second for a half-mile, took the lead, and inched clear late, defeating Salty Fries by a half-length, with Bleach Blonde four lengths farther back. Antares World earned a 79 Beyer.

"She got bumped and turned sideways heading into the stretch and bumped down the lane," Specht said. "A lesser horse would have thrown in the towel.

"That race showed she's got a little guts to her. I thought for just her fourth race and first around two turns, she'd have every reason to quit, but she didn't."