12/17/2009 12:00AM

La Chica Sensual begins comeback


MIAMI - Any doubts about trainer Jorge Navarro's patience can be answered in three words. La Chica Sensual.

Navarro was advised to give La Chica Sensual, who came within a head of sweeping the filly division of the 2008 Florida Stakes, eight months off after she suffered a tendon injury while training up to the Delta Princess late last fall. Instead, Navarro gave her a full year to recuperate. She'll finally launch her much-awaited comeback going 5 1/2 furlongs under allowance conditions in Saturday's featured 11th race.

"She's a nice one, that's for sure," Navarro said shortly before his Ashley's Code finished second in Thursday's fourth race. "That's one reason I gave her a year off instead of the eight months. She's also doing great. You can't even tell she had the injury. That's another reason she got the extra time."

La Chica Sensual won four of six starts and was never worse than second at 2. She won the six-furlong Desert Vixen by 8 1/4 lengths and the 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl by 4 1/2 lengths. In between those performances, she was upset by Aroma de Mujer at 3-5 in the seven-furlong Susan's Girl.

La Chica Sensual has been working steadily for her return, including a bullet five-eighths in 1:01.20 on Nov. 14.

"This is a tough race," said Navarro. "There are some nice fillies in there, but it's still a good spot for her return, and the way she's been working I think she'll be right there. After this, we have a couple of options, including a stakes at Tampa in two weeks and the Sugar Swirl at Gulfstream on January 9."

La Chica Sensual is one of two 3-year-olds in Saturday's main event. The other is Sailing Time, who brings a two-race win streak into the race.

Headache forces Saez to sit out

Jockey Luis Saez took off all his mounts on Thursday's program after complaining of a headache following an incident at the starting gate just before the first race. Saez's mount in that race, first-time starter Lyrical Star, was a late scratch.

"It didn't appear to be anything serious," said Peter Wright, Saez's agent. "He did not go to the hospital, although he complained that his head was bothering him a little. If he's still not feeling well Friday, I'll take him to see a doctor."

Hialeah Derby draws full field

Hialeah Park, which reopened earlier this fall following an eight-year hiatus, will present the inaugural running of the $100,000 Hialeah Derby for Quarter Horses on Saturday.

The Hialeah Derby drew a full field of 10 and will be run at 440 yards.

Hialeah is in the middle of the first of two consecutive 20-day Quarter Horse meets. The 2009 season ends Dec. 29.