06/01/2002 11:00PM

Irguns Angel impressive in Bay Meadows stakes


SAN MATEO, Calif. - On the morning Irguns Angel was scheduled to run in the Santa Ysabel (G3) on Jan. 6, 2001, Ron Anson purchased her for $420,000.

On Sunday morning, he received an offer to buy her and turned it down. On Sunday afternoon, Irguns Angel ($4.40) won the $60,600 Sunnyvale Handicap at Bay Meadows. The 4-year-old filly caught Channing Way in the lane to win the six-furlong race by 1.25 lengths in 1:08.86.

Irguns Angels sustained ankle chips while running in the Torrey Pines Handicap at Del Mar last Aug. 31. She underwent surgery immediately and returned to record a career-best 104 Beyer in winning her May 2 return.

"Her whole attitude has changed," Anson said. "She's relaxed now. She used to be on the muscle all the time."

Irguns Angel lay third behind Channing Way and Halo Tyra, stalking three wide until they entered the stretch. She quickly put her two rivals away and won with authority.

Irguns Angel, who has now won four of 10 starts and $150,155, will be pointed to the seven-furlong A Gleam Handicap (G2) at Hollywood Park on July 14.

"She'd been working great, and I think she's improving with every race," winning rider Jose Valdivia Jr. said. "I look forward to some really big things with her."