10/16/2005 11:00PM

Jill's Sky better than last try shows


ARCADIA, Calif. - Jill's Sky set too fast of a pace when she returned from a four-month layoff on Sept. 28. As she faded to finish eighth in a one-mile allowance race on turf, owner Toby Turrell shrugged and looked toward the future.

The filly's next chance for a win comes on Wednesday in a $45,000 allowance race for California-bred 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita. Even though the distance of 1 1/8 miles on turf will be the longest of Jill's Sky's career, Turrell is convinced that she can handle the trip - as long as she does not burn out too early.

breaks from the rail in a field of six and will be ridden by Corey Nakatani. She is the only stakes-placed member of the field, having finished second in the Bay Meadows Oaks in April. She followed that race with a seventh-place finish in the Golden Poppy Breeders' Cup Stakes at Golden Gate, then was given the summer off.

In the Sept. 28 race, Jill's Sky was near the front through a half-mile in 45.20 seconds and faded in the final furlong under Nakatani, finishing 10 3/4 lengths behind Dancing General.

"He basically wrapped up on her," Turrell said. "She broke from the 10-hole, went in 45-and-1, and that was way too fast, especially for a filly like her that is just starting to develop. It was way too much to throw at her. She just got tired. I think she was a victim of circumstances."

Turrell is hoping that Jill's Sky benefits from that loss. "She's training real snappy," said Turrell, a private clocker at Santa Anita. "She came home really nice in her work on Saturday. She'll run a big race."

Jill's Sky is likely to set the pace. Trained by Jenine Sahadi, Jill's Sky could face early pressure from Honor Spirit, who has yet to win on turf. Trained by Carla Gaines, Honor Spirit won a starter allowance over a mile on dirt at Del Mar on Aug. 3.

Gaines also will start , who finished third in a starter allowance at Fairplex Park in September. Element K. is winless in her last five starts.

Two fillies in the field are coming off wins - Banish the Blues and Stormin Lucy.

won a maiden race for $20,000 claimers at Fairplex Park last month and a first-condition allowance race at Turf Paradise on Oct. 2.

Stormin Lucy won a one-mile maiden race for statebred fillies here on Sept. 30.