11/18/2008 12:00AM

Debut winner Salty Sarah starts up again


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The 2-year-old filly Salty Sarah paid the price when she won her career debut Aug. 10 at Del Mar.

"She got cut up pretty bad, her right front and right hind," trainer Ray Bell said.

The superficial scrapes knocked Salty Sarah off her workout pattern, and with the $125,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies around the corner the timing could not have been worse. "We wanted to run her in another race [before Cal Cup], but she missed some training," Bell said. Her cuts were healed, and staying in the barn would do her no good. "We went ahead and ran her."

Light on training, stretching to two turns, and facing winners, Salty Sarah was up against it. Bell could see it coming in the Oct.o5 Cal Cup at Santa Anita.

"She got quite fresh, and she pulled," Bell said, "When they pull like that the first three or four furlongs, they lose that finishing punch."

Despite getting rank, Salty Sarah eventually settled down and finished a creditable fifth in the 10-horse field. Beaten only 6 1/4 lengths, Bell said, "she showed a lot of courage and heart."

Now it is seven weeks later, and Salty Sarah has not missed a beat in training. Thursday at Hollywood Park, she drops into a six-furlong allowance for California-bred 2-year-old fillies. Race 5 on the card, it sets up for her closing kick. "She couldn't be training any better, I just hope there is enough speed," Bell said.

There is. The front-runners include debut winner Stretchinthelimits, comebacker Aromatica, and claiming fillies Got Tobe Rio and Trash Master. Brice Blanc rides Salty Sarah, who can mow them down.

"She's ready to go," Bell said of Salty Sarah. "She doesn't have to win, but I'll be disappointed if she doesn't run well.

A good race Thursday would set up Salty Sarah for the seven-furlong California Breeders' Champion Stakes early in the Santa Anita winter meet.

w Race 7 Thursday is a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies, nonwinners-of-one-other-than/optional $80,000 claiming. Yasinisi, who won the first allowance condition Aug. 1 at Del Mar, is entered for the tag and could be the one to beat. Her rivals include Excitement, third with trouble last time; Cassablanca, dropping into an age-restricted race; comebacker Fanatical; and front-runner Quid Non.