10/25/2010 12:17PM

Appealing Afare, Vision in Gold return in sprint


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Appealing Afare has not raced since June. No matter. Trainer Doug O’Neill said she is ready to fire Wednesday in a first-level allowance sprint at Hollywood Park.

“She’s doing great, she’s solid,” O’Neill said.

Vision in Gold has not raced since June, and it does matter. Trainer Ron Ellis believes she needs farther than six furlongs and time to grow into her 17-hands frame. He also did not discount her chances entirely.

“She’s a route filly, but she’s the classiest filly in there,” Ellis said.

Appealing Afare and Vision in Gold are the principals Wednesday in race 7, a sprint for fillies and mares that is more than a two-horse race. Onenightin Beijing could be loose out front; Naughty Mariana was compromised last time by a bad trip; and Dani Reese already won the first condition and is eligible because she runs for a $40,000 claim tag.

O’Neill claimed Appealing Afare in May from a win in a $50,000 maiden-claimer.

“She was very honest, running good Beyers, had a good pedigree, and is a pretty-bodied filly,” he said.

Appealing Afare finished second in an allowance for O’Neill, and then was off.

Appealing Afare typically earns Beyer Speed Figures in the low 80s, which might be good enough Wednesday to get the job done under leading rider Rafael Bejarano. Meanwhile, Vision in Gold returns with second-leading rider Joel Rosario and drops significantly in class.

After winning a maiden route in her second start, Vision in Gold was tested for class but finished fifth in the Grade 3 Railbird and Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks.

“We got a little aggressive with her, and I don’t think she was ready for it,” Ellis said.

Ellis describes Vision in Gold as “a big, tall, skinny filly that is tough to keep weight on.”

Vision in Gold, purchased for $360,000 as a yearling, remains well-regarded. But the allowance sprint Wednesday is merely a starting point.

“I don’t think she’ll be at her best until she is 4, or 4-and-a-half,” Ellis said.

Vision in Gold is coupled with Rote.

Onenightin Beijing is the speed of the field, but Naughty Mariana could provide pressure. In her most recent start in a turf sprint, Naughty Mariana was shuffled back into the turn, took up on the turn, lost position, and ran well late to finish a better-than-looked fourth.