08/28/2008 11:00PM

Golden Doc A back from vacation

Email

DEL MAR, Calif. - This was not the original plan.

In the first few months of the year, when Golden Doc A was in top form, she would have been unlikely to turn up in a race such as Sunday's $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar. Golden Doc A had won the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes in February and finished second in the Santa Anita Oaks in March. But through the spring, her form tailed off, with a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks and a fourth in the Acorn Stakes at Belmont in June. After that race, she deserved a break.

"She made her own vacation," trainer Barry Abrams said. "It was time."

The Torrey Pines represents the start of the second half of Golden Doc A's season.

Abrams has raved about her training in recent weeks, and expects her to win the one-mile Torrey Pines.

"She's a Grade 1 horse and she should be able to win," he said. "She's about 90 percent ready. I need to start her off."

Owned by Ron McCauley, Golden Doc A has won 3 of 14 starts and $496,189. Abrams is hoping to use the Torrey Pines as a prep to the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 24.

To win the Torrey Pines, Golden Doc A must overcome a draw on the rail and the presence of two improving fillies who were not in the early-season stakes - Miss Singhsix and Distant Victory.

Miss Singhsix, trained by Paddy Gallagher, scored a smart win in an optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles here on July 26 in her second start in this country.

Distant Victory has won three consecutive races on turf since mid-June - a maiden race for statebreds, an optional claimer for statebreds, and an allowance race against open company. Trained by Carla Gaines, Distant Victory won her most recent start on Aug. 7 by three-quarters of a length over pacesetter In My Glory, the winner of an allowance race on Thursday.

"She was hard pressed to catch that horse on the lead," Gaines said of the Aug. 7 race. "I thought she would have won easier. It will be interesting to see how good she is."

Cry and Catch Me, the winner of the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes last fall, is entered in the Torrey Pines, but trainer Bob Baffert said on Thursday she might be withdrawn. Cry and Catch Me finished fifth behind Torrey Pines entrant Czechers in an optional claimer on July 31.