02/13/2010 1:00AM

Blind Luck has runaway form

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Benoit & Associates
Blind Luck, winner of the Hollywood Starlet, will be gunning for her third Grade 1 victory in Saturday's Las Virgenes.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The extra week between the scheduled date for the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes last Saturday and the rearranged date this Saturday gave race favorite Blind Luck one more opportunity to remind everyone what she is capable of accomplishing.

Tuesday at Santa Anita, where the main track had recovered from the excessive rain that led to last Saturday's cancellation, Blind Luck worked five furlongs in 59.20 seconds, the third-fastest of 109 recorded works at the distance.

Such a display of speed was not intended, according to Dan Ward, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's assistant.

"There was a horse working five lengths in front of her, and she managed to catch up," Ward said. "That's why she went a little fast."

Consider the workout to be the most recent evidence of the brilliance of Blind Luck. Owned by the partnership of Hollendorfer, John Carver, and Mark DeDomenico, Blind Luck is seeking her third Grade 1 win in the Las Virgenes, which is run over a mile.

The race has drawn a field of six, the same six fillies who were entered last week. The post positions were redrawn, with Blind Luck drawing the rail. Last week, she had drawn post 2.

The Grade 1 Las Virgenes is the fourth race on a 10-race program that begins at 12:30 p.m. Pacific. Five of the 10 races are stakes, including three rescheduled from last weekend, among them the featuring the 2010 debut of Life Is Sweet, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic last November.

Blind Luck is starting in her fifth consecutive Grade 1 race. The other five fillies have one Grade 1 appearance among them, a third-place finish by La Nez in the Darley Debutante last summer at Del Mar.

Blind Luck was second in that race, and followed with a win in the Oak Leaf Stakes, a third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (to eventual division champion She Be Wild) and a convincing seven-length win in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 30. She finished 2009 with a record of 4 wins in 6 starts and earnings of $709,050.

Eight weeks after her last start, Blind Luck continues to thrive, Ward said.

"We couldn't have a horse going better, sound and happy," he said.

When she arrives in the paddock, she may catch a few veteran observers by surprise. Blind Luck, it seems, has grown up a bit since Christmastime, Ward said.

"Someone who hasn't seen her since December may say she's growing," said Ward, who has overseen the filly's daily training. "When you see her every day, it's hard to tell."

Rafael Bejarano will ride Blind Luck, having been aboard her for the first time in the Starlet. Similar to that race, Bejarano is likely to have Blind Luck toward the back of the field for the first half of the Las Virgenes. There should be ample pace to follow, if the sprint maiden winner Summer Games, and Switch, who was third in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes over seven furlongs here on Jan. 16, run to form.

Blind Luck will be joined at the back of the field by La Nez, who was third against males in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes here on Dec. 26, and Crisp, who won the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes over 1 1/16 miles here on Jan. 10. Evening Jewel, second in the Santa Ysabel, will be tracking the pace.

Taking on a filly such as Blind Luck, who was a finalist for the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding 2-year-old filly of 2009, is no easy task. Trainer John Sadler will start both Crisp and Switch, hoping they can produce an upset.

He knows that such a result may be impossible.

"It's a small field," Sadler said. "I need to be second and third to be satisfied."

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