10/24/2008 12:00AM

Quisisana steps up off impressive win

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ARCADIA, Calif. - When Quisisana won an optional claimer at Santa Anita on Oct. 1, trainer Mike Puype knew the filly's career was on an upswing.

It was her second consecutive victory, preceded by a win in an optional claimer against statebreds at Del Mar on Aug. 25. The eye-catching nature of the win impressed Puype and justified an appearance for Quisisana in Sunday's $100,000 Cascapedia Stakes at Santa Anita.

"She ran so much better than she did at Del Mar," Puype said. "At Del Mar, she ran well, but that was a bad group."

Quisisana will face a strong field in the Cascapedia, which is run at seven furlongs for 3-year-old fillies. The Cascapedia is the feature race on the final day of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting. Hollywood Park opens its autumn meeting on Wednesday.

Owned by Ran Jan Racing, Quisisana has yet to win a stakes. In four starts, she has three wins, including a victory in an $80,000 claiming race for maidens last December, and a third-place finish in the Fleet Treat Stakes for 3-year-old statebred fillies at Del Mar.

Since the Fleet Treat, Quisisana is unbeaten.

"We hope she can keep moving forward," Puype said. "She's got a win over the track, and I expect her to run well."

Quisisana, who will be ridden by Joe Talamo, will break from post 2 in a field of 11. Quisisana tends to run near the front, but Puype said an inside draw is not a hindrance.

"She's starting to learn how to throttle down a little bit," he said. "I think she'll get a perfect trip. She doesn't have to be on the lead to win."

Foxy Danseur will be near Quisisana throughout, and could be a factor at the finish. Trained by Christopher Paasch for Charlie Cono, Foxy Danseur is winless in three starts this year, but lost twice by a head - in the Fairfield Stakes at the Solano county fair in Vallejo in July and in an allowance race at Santa Anita on Sept. 26.

There are six 2008 stakes winners in the field, including Golden Doc A, the winner of the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes, and the speedy High Resolve, who has 6 wins in 7 starts. Golden Doc A is winless in seven starts since the Las Virgenes. She was sixth in the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 18.