02/27/2009 12:00AM

Distance test for Cherry One


Cherry One will put her perfect record to the test in Sunday's $50,000 Island Fashion Stakes at Sunland Park. A field of eight 3-year-old fillies will go a mile in the final major prep for the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks on March 29.

Unbeaten in three starts, Cherry One rallied strongly from off the pace to win last month's El Paso Times here at 6 1/2 furlongs. The Island Fashion will be the first attempt at two turns for Cherry One, a daughter of Sir Cherokee, but her late resolve going shorter would seem to indicate it should be well within her reach. Regular rider Carlos Madeira will once again be in the saddle.

The main threat to Cherry One appears to be Oro Blanco. A Hold for Gold filly, Oro Blanco most recently finished third in the California Oaks over the Tapeta at Golden Gate in late January. Prior to that effort, she finished fourth over the Santa Anita turf in the Blue Norther Stakes in late December. Sunday will be her first attempt over dirt.

"We have had her here about a week now," said new trainer Henry Dominguez. "She has galloped and breezed over the surface and seems to like it just fine. I think I would rather have a horse going from synthetic to real dirt than from dirt to synthetic."

Alejandro Medellin will ride Oro Blanco.

One for Jim, a lightly raced filly trained by Steve Asmussen, makes her stakes debut in the Island Fashion. By Distorted Humor, One for Jim comes off a second-place finish in a one-mile optional claiming affair at Fair Grounds late last year. A winner at first asking going seven furlongs at Keeneland last October, she was training forwardly before leaving New Orleans. Luis Contreras will handle the riding chores.

Miriam's Star appears to be the controlling speed in the Island Fashion. She has won her last two sprints in front-running fashion and on Sunday will break from post 1. Ken Tohill, on board for those two recent wins, once again has the call for trainer Chris Hartman.

Winter Mist, a stakes winner against New Mexico-breds, ventures out into open company for the first time. Winter Mist has never finished worse than third in seven career starts. Ricardo Jaime rides.