09/16/2010 1:08PM

Cactus Jane has chance to turn quick profit at Fairplex


POMONA, Calif. – There was a fuss at Del Mar this summer when Cactus Jane won her debut in a $40,000 maiden claimer, despite one month without a published workout.

Several bettors were annoyed the filly ran well despite the absence of recent workouts. Cactus Jane won clear under Victor Espinoza, and returned $14.80 as trainer Adam Kitchingman celebrated his birthday with what some perceived as a betting coup.

Meanwhile, trainer Mike Puype was not annoyed. He was inquisitive. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horse win [first out] without a work in 27 days,” he said. “It made me wonder if maybe they were taking an edge” by running for a $40,000 claim tag.

Puype logged onto the Barretts website, where video of Cactus Jane breezing for an auction at Barretts was available. Puype liked what he saw, and dropped a claim for $40,000 for Cactus Jane for her Aug. 8 debut. Her last published workout was July 11.

“I knew she was eligible for the Barretts Debutante, which would give a chance [to earn back her purchase price],” Puype said.

His suspicious were validated when Cactus Jane won by 2 1/2 lengths.

Saturday at Fairplex Park, Puype and owners Cedair and Janet Dante will try to hit a home run with second-time starter Cactus Jane, a contender in the $115,000 Barretts Debutante for 2-year-old fillies that were offered for sale at Barretts.

Eight entered the 6 1/2-furlong stakes; Cactus Jane and jockey David Flores figure no lower than fourth choice. Other leading contenders include Dearly Concerned, winner of a $62,500 maiden-claiming race; True Way of Grace, a maiden compromised by trouble last out; and Brazzle Dazzle, winner of a $28,000-32,000 maiden claimer.

The apparent work gap by Cactus Jane later was revised. Works not previously recorded are now included in her official record. Clockers uncovered a half-mile drill July 25 and a six-furlong workout July 31. Neither workout had been published by track clockers prior to the filly’s debut.

Puype said Cactus Jane is ready. “She’ll run well,” he said. “And there was no other place to run” other than the stake.

Dearly Concerned won a maiden race with a 67 Beyer, and is the likely favorite for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and jockey Martin Pedroza. A troubled third-place finish last out by True Way of Grace stamps her as a potential upsetter for trainer Alexis Barba and jockey Paul Atkinson.