05/14/2010 11:00PM

Door open for Third Dawn in Milady


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - For the first time in three years, Zenyatta will not win the Grade 2 Milady Handicap for fillies and mares Sunday at Hollywood Park.

While Zenyatta trains for the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap on June 13, a mixed bag will contest the 1 1/16-mile Milady. The division gets tougher next month.

"I don't want to run against Zenyatta," Third Dawn's trainer, John Sadler, said, "unless it means finishing second in a Grade 1."

Before considering the Vanity, Sadler hopes Third Dawn can bang out a Grade 2 victory on Sunday when she starts as the 117-pound topweight. None of the six Milady entrants has won a graded stakes, though several have come close in Grade 1's.

Third Dawn missed by a nose in the 2009 Santa Anita Oaks, Wynning Ride finished second in the 2008 Hollywood Starlet and third in the 2009 Coaching Club of America Oaks at Belmont. Dance to My Tune recently finished second in the Santa Margarita at Santa Anita.

The Milady will be the second start back for Third Dawn, who was off seven months following minor surgery for an ankle chip. She finished fourth in her April 16 comeback.

"She was a little bit short," Sadler said. "I was happy with her race. It should set her up."

Third Dawn has trained well since her comeback, and looked particularly strong in a six-furlong work last Sunday under jockey Joel Rosario.

Third Dawn, who has won three races and $223,938 from 11 starts, is not the only sharp 4-year-old filly in the Milady. The 2-for-8 Wynning Ride stretches out following a sharp sprint comeback. She is trained by Bob Baffert and will be ridden by Martin Garcia, one day after they were scheduled to team with Preakness contender Lookin At Lucky.

Wynning Ride and Dance to My Tune will be forwardly placed over a main track that recently has been kind to speed. Through Thursday, nine of the 23 Cushion Track races at 1 1/16 miles had been won by the pacesetter.

Dance to My Tune finished second to Zenyatta one start back, and followed with a runner-up finish in a minor stakes. Leading jockey Rafael Bejarano rides for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Made for Magic has won 7 of 32, Miss Silver Brook is a deep closer, and Joffe's Run stretches out following a comeback sprint.