04/29/2010 11:00PM

An import that can make an impact


PHOENIX - Enough of this talk of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, of Zenyatta and Rachel. Let's get to the sexy division - the 3-year-old turf fillies.

Okay, so obviously there's a heavy dose of sarcasm there, but the division becomes a whole lot sexier if you manage to find the right 3-year-old filly and get rewarded at the windows in Sunday's Grade 3 Senorita Stakes at a mile on the turf at Hollywood Park.

The dilemma with such a division is often a lack of evidence. You get some fillies with limited or no turf experience. Then you have the influx of Europeans, who come with turf form aplenty. So which ones can transfer their best form from over there to over here?

City to City and Andina have confirmed themselves as the measuring sticks for this division out West, and both are set to go in the gate in the Senorita. City to City has won 3 of 4 on turf, including back-to-back wins in Santa Anita's China Doll on Feb. 20 and the Grade 2 Providencia there April 3, both at Andina's expense. Andina came from Europe and won her first two starts on the Santa Anita turf before finishing third in the China Doll and a strong, rallying second in the Providencia.

In this division, you always have to keep an eye out for the new shooter, and trainer Jim Cassidy may have one worth watching in the Irish-bred Hasty.

A daughter of Invincible Spirit, Hasty did plenty of good work in England. After a maiden win there last July, she ran fifth, beaten 2 3/4 lengths (in a field of 15) in a Doncaster handicap Sept. 10. In her final start in England, she finished third in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp at Newmarket on Oct. 2.

She came to the United States in the winter, and Cassidy is eager to get her into action.

"I've had her about three months," Cassidy said. "I bought her privately. I really like her. She's a great mover. In Europe, she was keen to go on, but I'm hoping she'll stay back in the Senorita."

All her races in England were at six to seven furlongs, but the way races are run in Europe, it's easy to project that a horse who sprints in Europe can go a mile or even farther in the United States. Hot-riding Martin Garcia has the call on Hasty, and if he's able to get her covered up and able to relax, she could make a big impact come furlong No. 8 and on your wallet.P

Golden Itiz a budding star for Ellis

Trainer Ron Ellis surely knew he had a promising 3-year-old in Golden Itiz. After that colt's performance at Hollywood Park on Wednesday, however, Ellis must be downright giddy.

That's because the $240,000 son of Horse of the Year Tiznow ran roughshod over a solid group of

3-year-olds while routing for the first time. He set the pace, albeit a very slow one, rebuffed a challenge from stablemate Tiz a Knight on the far turn, and then blew the race wide open with a powerful final quarter-mile, reporting home 11 1/4 lengths in front. He got the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.50, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 88. This while finishing under only modest pressure.

Golden Itiz, who carries the colors of the Jay Em Ess Stable of Mace and Samantha Siegel, has now won 2 of 3. After finishing third in his debut on Feb. 11 at Santa Anita, he defeated maidens by two lengths on March 20 prior to his Wednesday romp.

Ellis has indicated he might target Hollywood's top 3-year-old races, the Grade 3 Affirmed at 1 1/16 miles June 19 and the Grade 2 Swaps at 1 1/8 miles July 17.

Golden Itiz also may be primed to follow in the footsteps of his famous father. While his top classmates like Fusaichi Pegasus were battling through the Triple Crown, Tiznow was getting his feet under him. He peaked in the fall and won the Breeders' Cup Classic and was named champion 3-year-old. Those are big shoes to fill for Golden Itiz, but with Lookin At Lucky and Sidney's Candy running in the Derby and other top local 3-year-olds like Caracortado and Alphie's Bet eyeing the other two legs of the Triple Crown, it's possible Golden Itiz can be peaking after those guys have been through the rigors of spring and early summer. Consider yourself warned.