Updated on 09/16/2011 8:52AM

Miss Terasita took risk that still pays off


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Len Shoemaker made a calculated gamble last winter after purchasing Miss Terasita, and it has paid off big.

The payoff could continue at Golden Gate Fields Wednesday, when Miss Terasita will be the one to beat in a $12,500 starter allowance race for older fillies and mares at one mile.

Miss Terasita has the speed to take the lead if she wants or can sit just behind other speedsters Miss Blue Bayou and Princessaconcuervo. She will, at worst, get first run in the lane and has shown an ability to finish strong. She could prove tough to catch for Campaign Andover, Got You Slew, and Continental Coquet, who figure to stalk, and deep closer Aussie Girl.

Shoemaker purchased the 5-year-old mare Miss Terasita privately last winter. He dropped her into a $12,500 claimer. She won that race, won an allowance race in her next start, and has gone on to win 5 of 11 starts this year with three seconds, including the Luther Burbank Handicap at Santa Rosa.

Because she ran for a $12,500 claiming tag, Miss Terasita became eligible for claim-proof starter allowance races at that level. She has run in four of the races and picked up a check each time.

"She'll be eligible for these races all next year, too," Shoemaker said.

"I was thinking about breeding her, but because of this eligibility and the fact she's sound, I want to take advantage of the situation."

Shoemaker knew there was a risk dropping Miss Terasita in for a $12,500 price tag, but he knew he needed to find a spot where she could win. "I figured she'd either get eligible and, hopefully, get good or I would lose her."

Southern invasion

When D's Bertrando was scratched from Saturday's Gold Rush Stakes, trainer Jeff Bonde and owner Dennis Narlinger went to Plan B - the $125,000 California Breeders' Champion Stakes at seven furlongs on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita.

Northern California horses could have a big impact in the opening week stakes races at Santa Anita.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will likely use the $200,000, seven-furlong Grade 1 Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26 for the return of U S S Tinosa, a stakes winner at Santa Anita last spring who hasn't run since the Preakness.

Also on opening day, trainer Holly Evans will run Aly Bubba in the $75,000 Sir Beaufort.

Undefeated Watch Out World is likely to be favored in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes filly division on Dec. 27. She has won both starts for trainer Armando Lage, and her credentials moved up another notch when Elloluv, whom she defeated in her debut, won Saturday's Grade 1 Starlet at Hollywood Park. Bonde will enter Jaciro, a winner in her debut, in the race as well.

In the $200,000, Grade 1 La Brea on Dec. 28, Hollendorfer will send down undefeated Lacie Girl and Bonde is entering Erica's Smile.