08/18/2008 11:00PM

Gomez giving filly another try


DEL MAR, Calif. - Reunited, and it feels so . . . good?

When last they met, on July 27, jockey Garrett Gomez and the Brazilian filly Eissoai didn't exactly hit it off. Eissoai lugged in badly most of the race and put Gomez in a dangerous spot a furlong from the finish when she veered in sharply across the heels of her rivals. Gomez said Eissoai wanted to lug in even after the race ended, to the point where Gomez had to whack her on the left side of her mouth to try and keep her straight after the finish.

Del Mar's stewards called in Gomez to review video of that incident, but absolved him of any blame.

Eissoai is back in Thursday, in the featured $65,000 seventh race at Del Mar, and look who's back on - Gomez. Either he knows something, or he's a thrillseeker.

"I'm almost excited to ride her again, because she does have talent," Gomez said. "Even with everything she did wrong last time, she still would have been much the best if she'd have just run straight for 30 yards. Hopefully, they've straightened her out."

Eissoai is trained by Bobby Frankel, but his assistant, Humberto Ascanio, has overseen her training this summer while Frankel has been at Saratoga. According to Ascanio, Eissoai will have new equipment Thursday in an attempt to keep her on the straight and narrow.

"We made some adjustments," Ascanio said. "We put an inside cup blinker on her and an extension bit. If a horse is lugging in, the rider pulls the opposite way."

Why all the hard work? Gomez and Ascanio, in separate interviews, said the same thing: "She can run."

Eissoai won the Group 1 Brazilian Oaks in her native country and was third in the Brazilian 1000 Guineas. Thursday's race is nearly identical to the one on July 27. It is an optional claimer for second-level allowance horses or $62,500 claimers, only this time it is at one mile on turf, rather than 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Frankel also entered Rosangela, who will be trying two turns for the first time. She has two wins and a second in three starts. She is by El Prado, so distance should pose no problem, Ascanio said.

"I think going long will be better for her," Ascanio said. "She won't need to be rushed."

Renegade Ruby moves back to turf after finishing second in a similar optional claimer on the main track on July 21. She was second in her lone grass race in March and has worked twice on the turf here.

"She travels better on the grass than the main track," said Julio Canani, who trains Renegade Ruby. "Her works on the grass were super."