01/04/2007 12:00AM

Redemption the theme of Santa Ysabel


ARCADIA, Calif. - Instead of playing "First Call" to bring the horses onto the track for the Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita, horn-blower Jay Cohen might want to consider Bob Marley's "Redemption Song." Three of the leading candidates in the race are seeking to rebound from a decidedly disappointing effort in their last start, including Runway Rosie and Mistical Plan, who were up the track in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet.

Both Runway Rosie and Mistical Plan drew an outside post in the 1 1/16-mile Starlet, and their chances were compromised by the short run to the first turn. The Santa Ysabel, for 3-year-old fillies, has just nine runners, as opposed to the Starlet's 12, but posts again could be a factor, since there is another short run to the first turn going a mile at Santa Anita.

Runway Rosie landed post 3 for the Santa Ysabel. She finished 10th in the Starlet after capturing her two prior races.

"She had a really troubled trip," said her trainer, David Hofmans. "She broke a little slow, tried to come inside, and got stopped a couple of times. She had to drop way back, and she had nowhere to go after that."

Garrett Gomez, who rode Runway Rosie last time, wound up on Baroness Thatcher for Saturday. Richard Migliore takes his place on Runway Rosie. Both Gomez and Migliore are represented by agent Ron Anderson.

Hofmans will also send out Setafire, who got up to beat maidens by a nose at Hollywood Park going 1 1/16 miles in her last start, Nov. 30. With few allowance races available, the Santa Ysabel became the best, perhaps only, option for Setafire.

"The distance suits her," Hofmans said. "She acts like a really nice filly."

Mistical Plan was favored in the Starlet. She made a four-wide move to reach contention entering the stretch, but faltered in the final furlong and wound up eighth. She broke from post 11 last time, and landed the outside post in the Santa Ysabel.

Like Runway Rosie and Mistical Plan, Baroness Thatcher is seeking to rebound from a poor effort at short odds. She was sixth in the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs on Oct. 29. In addition to shipping west, she has changed barns, moving to Patrick Biancone.

Gomez rode Baroness Thatcher to her lone win, a five-length score against maidens at Keeneland.

The one to catch could be Seaside Affair, a 7 1/4-length maiden winner in her first start after being moved to trainer John Sadler.