03/10/2009 11:00PM

Magical Fantasy may be tighter now


ARCADIA, Calif. - Life Is Sweet beat Magical Fantasy by three-quarters of a length in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes here on Feb. 15. Jockey Alex Solis, the only jockey to ride Magical Fantasy in her United States career, is ready for a rematch in Saturday's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap.

Magical Fantasy "hadn't run since November and this will be her second race," Solis said. "You can't take anything away from Life Is Sweet. Hopefully, my filly can improve a little bit. We know she can stay."

Stamina will play a role in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita, which is run over 1 1/8 miles, the same distance as the La Canada. Magical Fantasy won the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks over 1 1/8 miles on turf last summer, her only win in seven starts in this country.

Solis takes comfort in Magical Fantasy's last two starts. She was fourth, beaten two lengths, in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes over a mile on turf against older fillies and mares at Hollywood Park last November.

"The Matriarch was a hell of a good race," Solis said. "They were good fillies; she got beat two lengths and was only 3."

The Santa Margarita is the eighth race on Saturday's 10-race program. Life Is Sweet will be favored, and there will be support for Santa Teresita, who won the Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 14 in a 13-1 upset.

San Felipe field probably will shrink

At least two of the seven horses entered in Saturday's $200,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita are likely to be scratched in favor of upcoming stakes. New Bay is likely to defect to Sunday's Pasadena Stakes, while Kelly Leak may be saved for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 4.

There are not many owners and trainers willing to risk their horses against a star 3-year-old such as Pioneerof the Nile, who won the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park in December and Robert Lewis Stakes here in February for trainer Bob Baffert and will be a heavy favorite in the San Felipe.

Kelly Leak, the winner of a one-mile allowance race on turf on Feb. 22, was a surprise entrant.

"I just put him in there as a precaution in case something happens to Bob's horse," trainer Mike Machowsky said.

Wednesday, trainer Darrell Vienna was unsure whether Feisty Suances would start. Feisty Suances was fourth in the California Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 17, emerging from the race "a bit jarred up," Vienna said.

"We'll have to see who is in there," Vienna said of the San Felipe. "He may never be ready to run against a horse like Pioneerof the Nile."

Owned by the Cohen family's Red Barons Barn, Feisty Suances won his first three starts, including an allowance race for statebreds over 7 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park in November. In his stakes debut, Feisty Suances finished second to All Saint in the California Breeders Champion Stakes over seven furlongs here on Dec. 26.

In the California Derby, Feisty Suances finished five lengths behind winner Chocolate Candy, who returned to win the El Camino Real Derby last month.

Vienna has Feisty Suances nominated for the Pasadena Stakes, which is run over a mile on turf for 3-year-olds.

Pioneerof the Nile has won 3 of 6 starts and $664,200. Owned by Zayat Stables, he won the Lewis Stakes by a half-length on Feb. 7. I Want Revenge, who finished third, returned last Saturday to score an impressive win in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.

Three eye Golden Shaheen

At least three Southern California-based sprinters - Black Seventeen, Indian Blessing and Machismo - are expected to start in the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai March 28. The Golden Shaheen is run over a six-furlong straightaway.

Indian Blessing, a 4-year-old filly, was the champion female sprinter of 2008. She has not started since winning the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes here in late December.

Black Seventeen won the Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park last September, and was third in his first two starts this year - the El Conejo Handicap here and the Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Machismo was second in the El Conejo Handicap and Sunshine Millions Sprint here in January, and fourth in the Phoenix Gold Cup at Turf Paradise on Feb. 14.

Machismo is trained by John Sadler, who won the 2004 Golden Shaheen with Our New Recruit.

"I don't have a horse the caliber of Indian Blessing," he said. "It's a race that California horses have done well in."

The Golden Shaheen will not include Peace Chant, the winner of the Phoenix Gold Cup. Trainer Doug O'Neill said that Peace Chant was recently diagnosed with a shoulder injury that will keep him out of training for 60 days.

Dansant may return in fall for BC Marathon

Dansant, the English invader who finished a troubled sixth in the Santa Anita Handicap last weekend, may return to California for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Marathon in November, trainer Gerard Butler said in an e-mail.

A five-time stakes winner, Dansant finished 3 1/2 lengths behind race winner Einstein. On the turn, Dansant was steadied to avoid Blue Exit when that horse broke down. In early stretch, Dansant was steadied again when racing in tight quarters.

"He was very unlucky not to be in the first three," Butler wrote. "We are very keen to return at some stage with the Breeders' Cup Marathon big on the agenda. We have some unfinished business" at Santa Anita.

Butler said that Dansant will be given a break before resuming his career in advance of the Marathon, which is run over 1 1/2 miles on the main track.

The Pamplemousse sharp in workout

The Pamplemousse, Solis's top Kentucky Derby hope, worked three furlongs in 36 seconds on Wednesday, the colt's first workout since a win in the Sham Stakes on Feb. 28.

"He worked incredible," Solis said.

Trained by Julio Canani, The Pamplemousse will make his next start in the Santa Anita Derby.