06/30/2010 12:00AM

Crisp samples turf in Le Cru


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - From mid-February until early June, Crisp ran exclusively in Grade 1 stakes for 3-year-old fillies, a span of four races highlighted by a win in the Santa Anita Oaks.

She has not been consistent, finishing seventh in the Kentucky Oaks in April and eighth in the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park on June 5. Those losses have led owner Michael Talla and trainer John Sadler to change the focus of Crisp's summer campaign.

With the California 3-year-old filly turf division emphasizing the second half of the year, Crisp will make her first start on that surface in Thursday's $60,000 Le Cru Stakes at Hollywood Park in a rare Thursday night program. The race is designed as a prep to the $100,000 San Clemente Handicap over a mile at Del Mar on July 25.

"This is a chance to try her on the grass," Sadler said. "I think she'll do okay on it."

A winner of 3 of 7 starts and $258,821, Crisp has the highest earnings of the eight fillies entered in the Le Cru Stakes, which is run over a mile. The Le Cru Stakes is the seventh race on an eight-race program that begins at 7:05 p.m. Pacific time.

Crisp is proven around two turns. She won three races on synthetic main tracks, including the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita in January. She did not run as well on dirt surfaces in the Kentucky Oaks or Acorn.

"She didn't handle Belmont at all," Sadler said.

Crisp is one of three fillies in the Le Cru making their first start on turf, along with Crisis of Spirit and Nicole H. Crisis of Spirit won the Anoakia Stakes over six furlongs last October but has been fourth in three subsequent sprint stakes. Nicole H won a sprint for maidens here in her seventh start on June 5.

The proven turf runners are led by Glory Pride, winner of two turf races; It Tiz, who won her 2010 debut in an optional claimer on turf on June 4; and Got an Itch, who was third in the Manhattan Beach Stakes on turf on May 30.

The San Clemente is on It Tiz's schedule if she runs well Thursday.

"She trained really well after the [June 4] race," trainer Mark Glatt said. "Hopefully, we are ready to move on to bigger things."