01/28/2006 1:00AM

Moscow Burning claims her race

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Moscow Burning under David Flores wins The Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - After losing the 2004 and 2005 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf by a combined 1 1/2 lengths, Moscow Burning finally had luck on her side in Saturday's $500,000 at Santa Anita.

Under a well-timed ride by jockey David Flores, Moscow Burning ran down the leaders with a wide stretch run to win the richest race of her career and reach millionaire status.

Sent off favored, the California-bred Moscow Burning ($4.60) finished 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.39.

On the final turn, Moscow Burning's chances were not as certain. She was seventh, racing behind the front-runners.

Flores guided Moscow Burning to the outside entering the stretch and got an immediate response. With a four-wide rally, Moscow Burning took the lead in the final sixteenth and drew off to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Beneficial Bartok.

"I was a little concerned we'd get trapped," said winning trainer Jim Cassidy. "They all kind of kicked away at the three-eighths pole, and David said that opened it up. I wasn't sure if she'd get them, but at the eighth pole I was more assured."

Beneficial Bartok, a California-bred, finished second, a head in front of Charmsil, a Florida-bred. Charm-sil was always near the front, following Midwife through early fractions of 23.89 and 47.93 seconds.

Valentine Dancer, who won the race in 2004 and 2005, had an unlucky trip. She was just behind the leaders to early stretch, could not find a clear path, and was checked at a crucial time. She finished eighth in the field of 11 California-breds and Florida-breds.

Moscow Burning was second in the 2004 Filly and Mare Turf when it was run at Santa Anita and finished fifth in the 2005 running at Gulfstream Park. Owned by Bullseye Racing, Moscow Burning, 6, has won 10 of 25 starts and $1,177,535.

The victory was Moscow Burning's second stakes win in the last three months since returning from a six-month absence caused by a back injury. She won the California Cup Distance Handicap against state-breds in November.