08/10/2011 2:17PM

Del Mar: Daisycutter first step toward Unzip Me's return to Breeders' Cup


DEL MAR, Calif. – The last time that Unzip Me ran five furlongs on turf she finished third against males in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs last fall.

Whether she returns to that race this season depends partially on how she does in Friday’s $85,000 Daisycutter Handicap over five furlongs on turf at Del Mar.

“We’ll see how things go here and if we can keep her on track like she is now,” trainer Marty Jones said. “We’ll find out on Friday where we’re at with her.”

Unzip Me is the 124-pound highweight in a field of eight in the Daisycutter. Jones was not thrilled that Unzip Me drew the rail, which will give jockey Rafael Bejarano plenty to do in the opening quarter-mile.

Unzip Me has the ability to lead or stalk the pace but is best when allowed to race near the front.

“I wouldn’t prefer to be there,” Jones said of the rail. “Hopefully, she gets out in decent shape. It will make his job a little more difficult but I think he can handle it.”

Owned by a partnership, Unzip Me, 5, has won 11 of 20 starts and $743,003, by far the highest earnings in the Daisycutter field. Earlier this year, Unzip Me won the Grade 3 Monrovia and Clockers Corner handicaps on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita, and was second to Separate Forest in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap in April. In the latter race, she carried 127 pounds, nine more than Separate Forest.

Following that race, Unzip Me was diagnosed with a respiratory infection.

“We missed some time, but she acts like she’s better now,” Jones said.

In her only subsequent start, Unzip Me was second to Daisycutter entrant Broken Dreams in an allowance race over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park on July 14.

“She seems to take that race well,” Jones said. “She seemed to move forward.”

Broken Dreams ended a five-race losing streak in the allowance race and can win her first stakes in the Daisycutter.

Separate Forest lost three races during the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting, a sequence ending with a fifth in the July 14 allowance race.

“We know she likes the hillside course,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “Everything else is up in the air. She is training good down here.”