09/06/2010 2:25PM

Dancing in Silks seeks to restore reputation in Pirate's Bounty


DEL MAR, Calif. – Dancing in Silks can restore his reputation as one of the nation’s leading sprinters in Wednesday’s $75,000 Pirate’s Bounty Stakes at Del Mar.

Last year, Dancing in Silks won the Pirate’s Bounty, the second victory of a four-race win streak that ended with a surprise win at 25-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.

Dancing in Silks has not won since. After finishing third in the Palos Verdes Handicap in January and fifth in the San Carlos Handicap in February in the first two months of 2010 at Santa Anita, Dancing in Silks was given a vacation by trainer Carla Gaines.

She said at the time that he was not injured, just in need of time away from stable life.

Since Dancing in Silks returned to training, Gaines and owner Ken Kinakin have had the Pirate’s Bounty Stakes as a goal. The six-furlong race is restricted to horses that have not won a stakes worth $50,000 to the winner other than statebred stakes since March 1.

“He’s a fresh horse, so we’ll see,” Gaines said. “The breezes have been good.”

Dancing in Silks worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 on Aug. 23 and in 1:12 on Aug. 29, both the fastest at the distance on those mornings.

Dancing in Silks is best as a stalker and should have a pace to follow in the Pirate’s Bounty, which drew a field of six. El Scorpio, Spaniard, and Truest Legend have shown speed in their last few races.

Gato Go Win is a threat from off the pace. The Pirate’s Bounty is his first start in California since a second by a nose in the Potrero Grande Handicap at Santa Anita in April. Gato Go Win was eighth in the True North Handicap at Belmont Park in June and 10th in the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder in July.

Bonifacio switches surfaces

The 2010 stakes winners Bonifacio and Mother Ruth start in the $75,000 California Equine Retirement Foundation Stakes for fillies and mares over six furlongs on the main track, a surface that will be a test for Bonifacio.

Bonifacio pulled a 20-1 upset in the Daisycutter Handicap on turf on Aug. 13, rallying from last in a field of seven to win by a nose.

“I think she’s better on the turf,” trainer Craig Dollase said. “She’s trained well on the Polytrack.”

A half-brother to the retired 2-year-old stakes winner Kantharos, Bonifacio has won twice on synthetic tracks and twice on turf in her seven-race career. The Team Valor International partnership recently bought into the ownership team of Bonifacio, Dollase said.

Mother Ruth won the Valid Expectations Stakes at Lone Star in May, but was fifth in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Stakes at Calder on July 10, her most recent start.