03/10/2009 11:00PM

For Modern Look, a question of fitness


ARCADIA, Calif. - It looks too good to be true. Maybe it is.

Modern Look won a group stakes in Europe in 2007 and 2008, and makes her U.S. debut in the $65,000 Moscow Burning Stakes at Santa Anita on Friday. Even though Modern Look has not started since June, she looks like a short-priced favorite.

Yet she does not have trainer Bobby Frankel's full confidence.

"She missed some training time," Frankel said on Wednesday. "If she's fit enough, she'll win. We'll see. I'm hoping her class will carry her through."

Frankel had Modern Look entered for the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap on Feb. 16, but the 4-year-old filly was scratched when the race was switched from turf to the main track. Modern Look has three published works since mid-February, including a half-mile in 50.40 seconds on Wednesday.

Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Modern Look finished 10th in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last year. She was a 7-1 contender in that race, having won the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham in France last June. She was a Group 3 winner as a 3-year-old in 2007.

Frankel said he is using the Moscow Burning Stakes as a prep for the $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland on April 11.

Modern Look is part of a field of seven fillies and mares in the Moscow Burning. She has drawn the outside post in the one-mile turf race.

Bahama Mama is expected to set the pace. She won the Lawndale Stakes for turf sprinters at Hollywood Park last May, but has yet to win a stakes at as far as a mile.

Zardana and Ainamaa return after lengthy layoffs.

Zardana was eighth in the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap over a mile on turf on Oct. 24. She won the restricted Osunitas Handicap in a 43-1 upset at Del Mar last June.

The Moscow Burning is her first start for trainer John Shirreffs. Zardana was previously trained by Ron McAnally, who starts Charming Legacy in the Moscow Burning.

Ainamaa makes her first start since finishing third in the Miss America Stakes at Golden Gate Fields last September. Trained by Ben Cecil, Ainamaa is seeking her first stakes win.

"She wasn't quite right last year," Cecil said. "I've got to get her started. It's a good place to start if you throw Frankel out."