12/30/2008 12:00AM

Careers near end for two fillies

Email
Benoit & Associates
Dearest Trickski (right), who makes her second-to-last start in the Kalookan Queen, holds off Tiz Elemental in the Rancho Bernardo at Del Mar.

ARCADIA, Calif. - It will be a short California winter for Dearest Trickski and Baroness Thatcher, who will begin the season as sprinters at Santa Anita and end as broodmares in Kentucky.

Both fillies will race twice at the Santa Anita meet, starting Wednesday in the $70,000 Kalookan Queen Handicap. Nine fillies and mares entered the 6 1/2-furlong race in which Grade 1 winner Dearest Trickski runs for the first time since Frank Stronach purchased her at auction for $650,000.

"Mr. Stronach called when he bought her and said, 'Would you like her back?'" trainer John Sadler said.

The answer, of course, was yes. After all, Dearest Trickski had won seven races and more than $600,000 from nine starts after Sadler and owner Tom Mankiewicz claimed her for $32,000.

Stronach purchased Dearest Trickski as a broodmare prospect; Sadler said she would retire from racing following the Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap, a seven-furlong race on Jan. 31. The question is, can she win first start back?

"She'll run her race," Sadler said.

It should be good enough. Mike Smith rides Dearest Trickski, an 11-for-17 speedster who is the quickest in the field.

"She has trained really good," Sadler said.

Baroness Thatcher will be making her second start since owner Thomas Van Meter II purchased her at auction for $1.8 million. A 3-for-22 graded stakes winner, she finished fourth in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap on Dec. 7 while racing farther than she prefers.

"A mile and a sixteenth is end of the world for her," trainer Patrick Biancone said, adding that Baroness Thatcher is a "perfect seven-furlong horse. Six furlongs is too short, a mile is too long."

Biancone is using the Kalookan Queen as a prep. "The main race for her is the Santa Monica," he said. "After that, she'll go make some babies."

Garrett Gomez rides Baroness Thatcher, who figures to fall into a good trip behind the speed.

Lovely Isle should improve second start back. Runner-up by a length one year ago in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes, she pressed the pace and tired to fourth last out while racing for the first time in four months. She is trained by Bobby Frankel, whose Breeder's Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Ventura is scheduled for a comeback in the Santa Monica.

Other entrants in the Kalookan Queen are Moonshine Alice, So Long Sonoma, High Resolve, Tizzy's Tune, Highland Torree, and Lady Sprinter.