05/03/2013 3:48PM

Hollywood Park: Teddy's Promise back at full strength for Time To Leave Stakes

Shigeki Kikkawa
Teddy's Promise missed the B. Thoughtful Stakes with a bruised foot but will run in Sunday's $70,000 Time To Leave Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A foot bruise that knocked Teddy’s Promise out of the B. Thoughtful Stakes one week ago is history. California’s top female sprinter will return to action Sunday in the $70,000 Time To Leave Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Expectations for Teddy’s Promise in the five-furlong stakes are the same as they would have been April 27 in the B. Thoughtful.

“I just think she’s the best horse in the race,” trainer Ron Ellis said.

Bettors will agree. Teddy’s Promise is favored to win the Time To Leave for the second straight year. Her allowance-caliber competition consists of last-out winners Magical Band and Hidinginplainsight, class dropper Shumoos, and three outsiders.

Teddy’s Promise has won eight races and $654,981 from 22 starts, rising to the top of the female sprint division for California owners and breeders Ted and Judy Nichols. Although the 5-year-old mare is not invincible, she is the fastest in the Time To Leave.

In three starts this winter at Santa Anita, Teddy’s Promise earned Beyer Speed Figures in the 90s. Only one of her six rivals Sunday has ever recorded a 90 or better, and that was Shumoos, who earned a 92 in November 2011.

The only issue Sunday is whether the foot bruise that forced Teddy’s Promise to scratch last weekend set back her conditioning. Asked how much training she missed, Ellis said, “None.”

“I just didn’t feel good about running her,” he said. “She was carrying a little bit of heat. It was a minor bruise she got after her three-quarters [workout]. It wasn’t a big deal.”

Sure enough, two days after she scratched, Teddy’s Promise worked a half-mile in 48 seconds.

“I knew I had this race as a backup,” Ellis said.

Last out, Teddy’s Promise finished second in the Grade 3 Las Flores won by Rumor, who entered the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Teddy’s Promise previously won two Santa Anita stakes, including the Grade 2 Santa Monica in January.

Ellis plans to start Teddy’s Promise twice at the spring meet. She will skip the $70,000 Desert Stormer on June 16 and aim for the Grade 2 A Gleam on July 13. That seven-furlong race is a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race for the Filly and Mare Sprint.

Victor Espinoza rides Teddy’s Promise in the Time To Leave, race 3 on a nine-race card.