Updated on 09/17/2011 10:04AM

Major Idea begins new season


ARCADIA, Calif. - Beyond an occasional dirt-race experiment, 3-year-old turf fillies are not much use during the winter at Santa Anita. That changes Thursday when 3-year-old fillies race a mile on grass in the $75,000 Some Sensation Stakes. The sun shines. A new season begins.

"There really are no races [in winter], so this is a good starting point," said trainer Craig Dollase, who sends Tangle in the Some Sensation. Dollase said he "expects a good run" from Tangle, but is more concerned with richer races ahead, as likely are the connections of all 13 entrants, including favorite Major Idea.

The turf stakes schedule for 3-year-old fillies includes the $150,000 Providencia April 13 at Santa Anita; the $750,000 American Oaks is off in the distance - July 5 at Hollywood Park.

But first comes the Some Sensation, in which Blue Norther Handicap winner Major Idea will be favored. Tangle's chances diminished when she drew an outside post on the also-eligible list.

Other entrants include the Jim Cassidy-trained entry of Star Vega and La Campanella, European imports making their U.S. debut; lightly raced Dash for Money; well-regarded Shapes and Shadows; and impressive maiden winner Makeup Artist, another stuck on the also-eligible list.

Ten of the 13 entrants will run in the mile turf race, and with the rails at 24 feet, Tangle is compromised from the outside, if she draws in.

"It's been a little while since she's run," Dollase said. "We just let her acclimate. She's doing good."

Tangle won her only start in Ireland last fall, and ran super in her U.S. debut in the Miesque last November. After breaking slowly, she finished second, beaten a length by Atlantic Ocean while a 1 1/2 lengths in front of Major Idea. Corey Nakatani rides Tangle again Thursday.

Major Idea has emerged as the most consistent turf filly on the circuit. Following the Miesque, she won an allowance, then crushed the rest of the field in the Blue Norther. Owned by The Thoroughbred Corp., she has won 3 of 7 for trainer Neil Drysdale. He expects a solid try Thursday, and later. "She's very well, and she should get better as the year goes on," he said.

Victor Espinoza rides Major Idea.

Star Vega is the more highly regarded half of the Jim Cassidy-trained entry. She won 2 of 4 starts in England, and is making her U.S. debut.

"She looks good, she's dappled out, and she's worked sensational," Cassidy said.

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