01/03/2011 5:54PM

More turf for Unzip Me, but Dilemma may go back to dirt


Unzip Me is likely to stick to turf following her sixth stakes win in Sunday’s $100,000 Monrovia Stakes on the hillside turf course.
Dilemma could show up in a variety of races after winning his first graded stakes in Saturday’s $100,000 Daytona Stakes on the hillside.

Unzip Me was never seriously challenged in the Monrovia, leading throughout under Rafael Bejarano to win by 1 1/4 lengths as the 3-5 favorite. The Grade 3 Monrovia was her first start since a third against males in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

Trainer Marty Jones said he did not have any specific plans for Unzip Me, but said she would probably stay on turf.

“Ever since we got her to the grass, she’s really changed,” he said.

Unzip Me has won 8 of 12 on turf, with all stakes wins coming on the surface. She has won 4 of 5 starts on Santa Anita’s hillside turf course.
One option for the 5-year-old mare is a defense of her title in the $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes for statebred females on the hillside turf course on March 19.

Dilemma ended a five-race losing streak dating back to November 2008 in the Daytona, which he won with a late rally as an 8-1 outsider. Dilemma was ridden by Garrett Gomez, who swept Saturday’s two stakes, also winning aboard Spring Style.

Owned by Glen Hill Farm, Dilemma won the Sunny Slope Stakes on a dirt surface here in 2006 at 2 and could be tried on such a surface this winter, trainer Tom Proctor said. Another option for Dilemma is the $100,000 Thunder Road Handicap over a mile on turf on Feb. 5.

“This horse can run a mile on turf,” Proctor said.

A 7-year-old, Dilemma has won 6 of 22 starts and $366,656.

Nakatani takes couple days off

Jockey Corey Natakani did not ride on Saturday or Sunday after injuring an ankle in the seventh race last Friday, according to his agent, Tommy Ball.

Ball said that Nakatani had difficulty walking after the race, and decided to take off his mounts for the weekend.

“He thought he could ride [on Sunday],” Ball said. “He didn’t want to limp into the paddock and decided to play it safe.”

Live racing resumes Thursday

There is no racing at Santa Anita on Wednesday. Beginning Thursday, the track starts a schedule of four-day racing weeks on a Thursday-through-Sunday basis through the end of February.

The only exceptions are the two Monday holidays on Jan. 17 and Feb. 21 when racing will be conducted.

Top two riders continue to dominate

Through Sunday, the seventh day of the meeting, jockeys Rafael Bejarano and Joel Rosario have pulled away from their pursuers in the race for leading rider. Bejarano has won 15 races, five more than Rosario. Joe Talamo is third with seven wins.

Bejarano and Rosario combined to win all the major riding titles in Southern California in 2010.