06/14/2012 3:28PM

Hollywood Park: Vanity can enhance Include Me Out's already strong reputation

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Include Me Out's long-range goal is the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic on Nov. 2.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – With three consecutive graded stakes wins this year, Include Me Out has a rightful position on the short list of leading older females in the nation.

A 4-year-old filly, Include Me Out can climb even higher in the rankings with a win in Saturday’s $250,000 Vanity Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Include Me Out is the 122-pound highweight in a field of eight, which includes another major stakes winner in recent months in Ellafitz. Zazu, a three-time graded stakes winner, was entered for the Vanity, but trainer John Sadler said Thursday that the filly would miss the race because she was "off behind." Include Me Out, trained by Ron Ellis for Samantha Siegel, will be favored in the Grade 1 race over 1 1/8 miles.

Ellis said on Thursday that the Vanity is an important test for Include Me Out, and will determine how extensively she is campaigned in coming months. The long-range goal is the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

Already at this meeting, Include Me Out was a convincing winner of the Grade 2 Marjorie Everett Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on May 19.

“These are the two races I wanted to hit at this meeting,” Ellis said.

“Then we’ll regroup. The race will give is some indication how much we want to do.”

Include Me Out’s current winning streak began in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies at Santa Anita in January. In the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Invitational on March 17, Include Me Out gave the best performance of her nine-race career, drawing off in early stretch and winning by 3 3/4 lengths over Love Theway Youare, who is part of the Vanity field.

In the Everett, which until this year was known as the Milady Handicap, Include Me Out was always near the front by and won by three-quarters of a length over Ellafitz. Caelis, third in that field, is part of the Vanity field.

Include Me Out, who will be ridden by Joe Talamo, is likely to race just behind expected pacesetters Ellafitz and Rock and Glory, who is making her stakes debut. If a speed duel develops, Include Me Out can be comfortable in the middle of the field, Ellis said.

“I’m pretty happy with her versatility,” he said.

Ellafitz, a winner of three stakes from December to February, including the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap here last December, was entered in the Vanity but scratched by trainer Bob Baffert after coming down sick.

Tim Yakteen trains Rock and Glory, a winner of 2 of 4 starts, and Zafeen’s Pearl.

A 5-year-old British-bred mare, Zafeen’s Pearl is one of two European imports in the Vanity, joined by Atlantic Swing. Both will be longshots.

Zafeen’s Pearl has won 4 of 17 starts, but did not appear in a stakes in England. Atlantic Swing was third in the minor Cooley Fillies Stakes on an all-weather track at Dundalk, Ireland, in her last start last November.

Atlantic Swing is owned by Paul Reddam and will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez, the owner and jockey of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner I’ll Have Another. Ben Cecil trains Atlantic Swing, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Stormy Atlantic.

The Vanity field may lose one entrant, Caelis, to the Beverly Hills Handicap on turf on June 24, trainer Peter Miller said. A winner of 4 of 18 starts in England and the United States, Caelis was beaten 2 1/4 lengths as a 22-1 shot in the Everett.

“The mile and an eighth is good,” Miller said of the Vanity distance.

“We’re debating whether to run in there or the Beverly Hills the following week. We’ll look at both races and try to pick the better spot for her.”