01/27/2010 12:00AM

Forbidden Paradise, Andina have stakes aspirations


ARCADIA, Calif. - Forbidden Paradise and Andina came to the United States with similar backgrounds, and meet for the first time in a first-level optional $80,000 claiming race at Santa Anita on Friday.

Both fillies were bred in Ireland, made their career debuts in England, and arrived in California in the second half of 2009. Each won a maiden race in her first start here.

Since then, however, they have been on divergent paths. Forbidden Paradise won a one-mile maiden race on turf at Del Mar in August before making three consecutive stakes appearances. A ninth in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes on the synthetic main track at Santa Anita in October was followed by a sixth in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes at Hollywood Park in November and a third in the Blue Norther Stakes here on Jan. 1.

Andina won her American debut on Oct. 10 and has not started since. Friday's race over a mile on turf could be the first of several meetings for the pair, who will be pointed for stakes later this year.

Forbidden Paradise, owned by Marc Ferrell, makes her debut for trainer Peter Eurton on Friday, having previously been trained in California by David Hofmans.

"David told me everything about her, any habits she had and equipment she used," Eurton said.

Forbidden Paradise is most effective from off the pace. Jockey Brice Blanc, who was aboard for the maiden win and the Blue Norther, retains the mount.

"Brice tends to ride her the way she wants to be ridden," Eurton said. "She needs to settle and be covered up, instead of running off."

Andina, owned by Arnold Zetcher, scored a stylish win over a mile on turf here in October, but was sore after the race, trainer Ben Cecil said.

"She had some very mild shins, which caused us to back off until they came around," Cecil said. "I think she's all right. There are some stakes-caliber fillies in there and we'll find out where we're at."

The race drew 12, but has a safety limit of 10 starters. The biggest threat to Andina and Forbidden Paradise is Smart Seattle, who was second in the Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland in October and ninth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in November, her most recent start.