08/16/2013 1:59PM

Del Mar: Reneesgotzip needs to avoid bounce in Rancho Bernardo

Barbara D. Livingston
Reneesgotzip won her prep for the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo by 5 1/4 lengths.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Reneesgotzip might have run too well when she won an allowance race at Del Mar last month in her first start since December.

Winning for the sixth time in her 11-race career, the 4-year-old Reneesgotzip won a six-furlong race by 5 1/4 lengths on July 18. The race was designed as a prep for Sunday’s $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs, but trainer Peter Miller said he has been careful in recent weeks to not over-train Reneesgotzip. He is hoping Reneesgotzip does not regress Sunday.

“We’ve gone kind of easy with her to keep her fresh,” he said.

Owned by Debbie Lanni, Reneesgotzip can win the fourth stakes of her career in the Rancho Bernardo. She won three stakes on three different surfaces in 2012 – the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes on dirt at Santa Anita in January, the CERF Stakes on the Polytrack here last September, and the Skillful Joy Stakes on the Cushion Track at Betfair Hollywood Park last December.

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Reneesgotzip drew the rail in the Rancho Bernardo and is the 120-pound highweight. She will start favored and is expected to set the pace.

“I expect her to run well,” Miller said. “She’s such a good gate horse and she’s fast. I don’t think anyone has her speed.”

Reneesgotzip has led in most of her starts. Edwin Maldonado rode Reneesgotzip in her allowance race last month, but has been replaced by Garrett Gomez on Sunday. Gomez has ridden Reneesgotzip in five previous starts, including wins in the CERF and Skillful Joy stakes. He was aboard for her third-place finish against males in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita last November.

Gomez missed the ride on Reneesgotzip in July while dealing with personal issues.

“She’s Garrett’s horse,” Miller said. “Edwin did a good job of filling in.”

Reneesgotzip is part of a field of five in the Rancho Bernardo, all stakes winners.

Winding Way is the defending champion, but is winless in her last three starts. Sugarinthemorning won the 2011 Fleet Treat Stakes, a race that Rancho Bernardo entrant Sweet Marini won July 27. Curvy Cat won the B. Thoughtful Stakes at Hollywood Park in April and was third behind Reneesgotzip in the allowance race July 18.

Sweet Marini led throughout the Fleet Treat for California-bred 3-year-old fillies, winning the seven-furlong race by 4 3/4 lengths for her first stakes win. Trainer Bob Baffert said Friday that he was considering sending Sweet Marini to Saratoga for the $500,000 Test Stakes on Aug. 24.

“I don’t know if I should ship,” he said Friday.

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Sugarinthemorning is the most experienced horse in the field, having won 5 of 23 starts and $551,554. Owned by breeder Stephen Weissman and trained by Ron McAnally, the 5-year-old Sugarinthemorning was third behind Unusual Hottie in the Redondo Beach Stakes over a mile on turf at Hollywood Park on June 9.

The Rancho Bernardo will be Sugarinthemorning’s first start in a main-track sprint since a fourth in the B. Thoughtful last April. McAnally thinks Sugarinthemorning has an edge on the Del Mar Polytrack surface.

“She’s had plenty of time between races,” McAnally said. “I think she likes the Polytrack here.”