01/24/2008 12:00AM

Pussycat Doll set for Santa Monica defense


ARCADIA, Calif. - Pussycat Doll will defend her title in Sunday's $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita. At least, that was the plan as of Thursday.

With widespread concern that wet weather would disrupt racing beyond the cancellation of Thursday's eight-race program, trainer Bob Baffert was hopeful that Pussycat Doll could run in the Grade 1 race at seven furlongs.

"I like the way she's training," he said. "The track condition will play a big part of it. It's out of our hands."

Track officials said Thursday that the prospects for weekend racing were uncertain. A significant rainstorm was expected on Saturday night.

"The weather has been wrong before," said the track's president, Ron Charles.

Like many horsemen, Baffert was hoping that racing will not face further disruption.

"They won't run unless they think it's safe," Baffert said. "We just don't know what's going to happen."

Owned by Mike Pegram, Pussycat Doll, 6, has won 7 of 17 starts and $797,183. She began and ended her seven-race campaign last year with stakes wins - the Santa Monica and the minor Storm Flag Flying Stakes over a sloppy track at Belmont Park in October.

In between, her best results were a second-place finish to Hystericalady in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs in May and a third in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park in September.

Hystericalady is the 122-pound topweight in the Santa Monica, which will be her first start since finishing a heartbreaking second to Ginger Punch in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27.

She's an Eleven retired again

She's an Eleven, the winner of the 2006 Melair Stakes at Hollywood Park, has been retired after failing to run well in the second half of 2007, trainer John Sadler said earlier this week.

It is the second time that She's an Eleven has been retired. She was taken out of training last winter and sent to Kentucky, but refused to be bred to Empire Maker.

A 5-year-old mare, She's an Eleven was put back in training last summer, but failed to win in five subsequent starts. She made her final start at Santa Anita on Jan. 14, finishing fourth in an allowance race.

Owned by CRK Stable, She's an Eleven will be bred to Our New Recruit, a stallion that Lee Searing of CRK Stable stands at Legacy Ranch in Clements, Calif. She's an Eleven has won 2 of 13 starts and $243,560.

Blazing work for Nevada Worrier

Workout and race times have been farcically fast over Santa Anita's synthetic Cushion Track surface in recent weeks. No track record seems to be safe, as witnessed by Indian Blessing's seven-furlong clocking in 1:19.89 in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes on Jan. 13 and In Summation's six-furlong record clocking of 1:06.67 in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap last Monday.

Still, trainer Jerry Wallace was stunned when Nevada Worrier worked five furlongs in 56.40 seconds on Jan. 19, the fastest of 49 recorded works at that distance

"You know what's amazing? I only worked him a half and he galloped out" that fast, Wallace said. "There were a couple of horses in front of him and he went after them."

The fast workout has left Wallace somewhat unsure what to expect in Saturday's $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash for California-breds and Florida-breds. The six-furlong race will be Nevada Worrier's first start since a fourth-place finish in the California Cup Juvenile last November.

In October, Nevada Worrier won the seven-furlong Cavonnier Stakes for California-breds, his first stakes win.

Owned by breeder Joseph Duffel, Nevada Worrier has won 2 of 9 starts and $106,519. He has raced primarily in sprints, which gives Wallace hope that Nevada Worrier can be a factor in the Sunshine Millions Dash.

The race has drawn a competitive field, including Georgie Boy, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity in September, and Bob Black Jack, who won the California Breeders' Champion Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths on Dec. 26. Bob Black Jack ran seven furlongs in 1:20.37, which at the time was a track record.

Wallace does not want Nevada Worrier too far off the pace Saturday.

"We'll let him break and sit behind," he said. "You can't get too far back."

Crown of Thorns pointed for Robert Lewis

Crown of Thorns, one of the most promising 3-year-old maiden winners at this meeting, is being pointed for the $200,000 Robert Lewis Stakes at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds on Feb. 2, trainer Richard Mandella said earlier this week.

Mandella had considered the Sunshine Millions Dash for Crown of Thorns, but opted for the more traditional Triple Crown prep.

Mandella said he thought that Crown of Thorns would be better suited to a route after the colt worked seven furlongs in 1:24.80 on Jan. 19. Crown of Thorns won his second start in a seven-furlong maiden race by seven lengths.