10/07/2008 11:00PM

Lady Sprinter an unknown in F-M Sprint


Lady Sprinter is the best Breeders' Cup candidate no one has heard of, yet if the filly from South America postponed her U.S. debut by merely one day, she would be "live" against males Oct. 25 in the six-furlong, $2 million BC Sprint.

"She beat colts twice in Argentina, but here it's completely different," trainer Juan Reviriego said. "Here, it's the greatest horses in the world."

A stone front-runner, Lady Sprinter is 8 for 8 on dirt and won two Group 1's versus males in Argentina. However, every race was five furlongs, including one defeat on grass, and her wins are accompanied by a simple comment in her past performances: "led throughout."

It is a tough way to win at seven furlongs, the distance of the $1 million Filly and Mare Sprint on Oct. 24, particularly against front-runners Indyanne and Dearest Trickski. But when Lady Sprinter runs for the first time since May 3, she will have a new style.

"To run seven furlongs, I know I have to change her style," Reviriego said. "I want her to use her speed at the end, in the last quarter-mile."

Reviriego has harnessed her speed by taking her back in workouts. He is trying to transform the front-runner into a late-runner.

Bred in Kentucky and purchased as a yearling for $35,000, Lady Sprinter was sent to Argentina, where the daughter of Orientate was never headed in eight starts on dirt. Owner Ricardo Benedicto sent her to the United States in early June, she spent a month in Florida after getting sick in quarantine, and she finally arrived at Santa Anita in early July.

"When she came to California, I didn't have time to run her" in a prep, Reviriego said. "It was winter in Argentina, she was thin, and she was sick for about 10 days."

Lady Sprinter is scheduled for her first seven-furlong work Friday at Santa Anita. Her exercise rider, Octavio Vergara, said, "She loves this track; she does everything naturally."

* Indyanne's trainer, Greg Gilchrist, confirmed Wednesday that "we're planning on running" in the Filly and Mare Sprint. Robby Albarado has the call. John Velazquez has regained the mount on Indian Blessing; Rafael Bejarano has picked up Zaftig.

* Miss Macy Sue, third last year in the Filly and Mare Sprint, is not expected this year. "We'll keep our options open, but it's a pretty strong division this year with Indian Blessing, Intangaroo, and Indyanne," trainer Kelly Von Hemel said.

* As of Wednesday, there were 11 candidates for the Filly and Mare Sprint: Indian Blessing, Dearest Trickski, Intangaroo, Wild Gams, Indyanne, Tiz Elemental, Ventura, Zaftig, Magnficience, Tizzy's Tune, and Lady Sprinter.