03/04/2010 12:00AM

Last sprint before Tanda goes long


ARCADIA, Calif. - The benefit of a solid race in January may help Tanda beat a field loaded with imports and horses returning from layoffs in Friday's seventh race at Santa Anita.

Tanda is one of nine 3-year-old fillies entered in a first-level optional $80,000 claimer over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course. Trained by Dan Hendricks, Tanda has 1 victory in 3 starts, the most recent of which was a second in the Sweet Life Stakes here on Jan. 24.

Tanda had a brief rest after that race, but has had three solid workouts since Feb. 9. Hendricks envisions Friday's race as Tanda's last sprint before she is tried in longer distances in stakes.

"We want to keep her going in the right direction," he said. "There are a lot of races for her in the summer. I'm hoping she can go longer."

Three entrants - Cash Queen Anna, Glass of Red, and Vanishing Grey - made their last start in England last year. Two others made their last start in this country last November - Elusive Galaxy was 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf here, while Ghost Girl won a maiden race at Hawthorne.

Three others have started this year - Sweet Hanni beat maidens in a turf sprint here on Jan. 29, Laura's Pleasure was second in an optional claimer at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 7, and Roman Charity was second in a turf sprint for $80,000 claimers here on Feb. 13.

Ben Cecil trains Elusive Galaxy and Vanishing Grey. Cecil considers Friday's race as a prep for upcoming stakes for Elusive Galaxy, who had a troubled trip in the Breeders' Cup, finishing eight lengths behind Tapitsfly.

"I think we'll stretch her out," Cecil said. "She's shown reasonable form over shorter distances. Hopefully, she'll give a good account of herself."

Vanishing Grey will need a start to be at her best, Cecil said. She won a five-furlong maiden race in Bath, England, last August, but was well beaten in three subsequent stakes in that country.

"She's trained encouragingly in the morning," Cecil said. "I don't think she'll win first time out. She's going to win some races down the road."

Cash Queen Anna has good form, having finished second in a 15-runner handicap at Newmarket, England, last October.