01/03/2003 12:00AM

Sahadi filly lone flawless one


ARCADIA, Calif. - Summer Wind Dancer stands out against six rivals Sunday at Santa Anita in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes, the first two-turn stakes of the year for 3-year-old fillies. A troubled third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet after winning the California Cup Juvenile Fillies, Summer Wind Dancer is the only Santa Ysabel entrant without a flaw.

A wide-ranging group entered the $100,000, 1 1/16-mile dirt race. Secondary contenders include graded stakes winner Atlantic Ocean, possibly more effective on grass; Dash for Money, whose sprint debut was visually impressive but slow; and turf runner Shapes and Shadows. Outsiders are Sea Jewel, Artist's Studio, and Harbor Blues, who is coupled with Shapes and Shadows.

Jenine Sahadi trains Summer Wind Dancer, who has three wins from five starts. "Every race has gotten progressively better. That's all you can ask for," Sahadi said.

There is another thing to wish for, however - a clean trip. Summer Wind Dancer had a nightmare trip in the Starlet, finishing third after steadying on both turns.

"She wasn't going to beat [Elloluv], but she easily could have been second," Sahadi said. "[Jockey] Alex [Solis] was very apologetic afterward. She took up three times, and she can't re-accelerate. She's a big, long-striding filly who needs to stay out of trouble."

Owned by Richard and Yvette Wyra, and Linda Vetter, Summer Wind Dancer is doing what she does best Sunday - run long on dirt. The opposite applies to her main rival - the Bob Baffert-trained Atlantic Ocean.

A front-runner who appeared to have tailed off, Atlantic Ocean returned to form when she scored an upset last time in the Grade 3 Miesque, which was her first start on grass. A three-time winner from eight starts, the question for Atlantic Ocean is whether she can be as effective on dirt. Baffert makes no guarantees.

"She trains so great on dirt, and there is so much more money in dirt racing for 3-year-old fillies," he said, adding the qualifier, "If it doesn't work out, we'll go back to grass."

Atlantic Ocean's speed figures on dirt are modest at best, though the Santa Ysabel is the first time Atlantic Ocean will race on the main track that she has trained so well over.

Trainer Nick Canani admits he is "taking a shot" with Shapes and Shadows, whose maiden turf win was flattered Friday when the filly she beat, Go for Glamour, returned and won. Canani said Shapes and Shadows has worked well on dirt.

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