03/05/2010 12:00AM

Difficult to look beyond Blind Luck


ARCADIA, Calif. - Blind Luck won the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes by seven lengths in December. When she made her 2010 debut last month, she won the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes by a nose.

One race showed how dominant she can be, the other may have been the only time she is vulnerable for the foreseeable future.

Saturday at Santa Anita, Blind Luck, who is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, will be heavily favored to win her fourth Grade 1 in the $250,000 Santa Anita Oaks. The race distance of 1 1/16 miles gives assistant trainer Dan Ward confidence that Blind Luck will be tough to beat.

"Distance will help," Ward said.

Blind Luck closed five lengths in the final quarter-mile to edge Evening Jewel in the one-mile Las Virgenes. She ran the final quarter-mile in 22.54 seconds to solidify her status as the leading 3-year-old filly in California, and possibly the nation.

"I think she can finish like that no matter where she is in the race," Ward said. "When you close in 22 and 2, that always gives you a chance to win."

Blind Luck's only loss in three starts at 1 1/16 miles was a third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last November, a race in which she encountered traffic and was beaten three-quarters of a length by eventual divisional champion She Be Wild.

Ward said on Thursday that Blind Luck has calmed in recent months, particularly in the way she behaves in the starting gate.

"She has no issues," he said. "The first couple of times we ran her she was a little nervous in the gate. She's gotten over that. In fact, this morning she stood in the gate perfectly."

Blind Luck is among eight entrants in the Santa Anita Oaks, although trainer John Sadler said that Sister Dawn, who drew the rail, would be scratched. She was cross-entered in an allowance race on Thursday. Sadler has two intended starters - Crisp, who won the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes in January and was fourth in the Las Virgenes, and Cozi Rosie, who is making her stakes debut after winning her last two starts, both over 1 1/16 miles.

Crisp will wear blinkers for the first time and worked six furlongs in 1:12 wearing that equipment at Hollywood Park last Sunday.

"She had a big work with the blinkers on," Sadler said.

Cozi Rosie may be better over a longer distance, Sadler said.

"We wish the race was a mile and an eighth," Sadler said. "She's all distance in her pedigree."

None of the other starters is a stakes winner. All Due Respect was third in the Grade 3 Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs last November and is making her first start for trainer Kathy Walsh. Zilva was seventh in the BC Juvenile Fillies and fifth in the Santa Ysabel Stakes in her last two starts.

* The first of five stakes on the program is the $60,000 Pasadena Stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile on turf.

Macias, who won the Eddie Logan and Baffle stakes already at this meeting, will be favored in a field of 10. There will be support for Alfarabi, the winner of an optional claimer over 1 1/8 miles on turf on Jan. 27, and Make Music for Me, who was third in his last start, the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 19.