04/13/2006 11:00PM

Sandra's Rose live vs. Cambiocorsa


ARCADIA, Calif. - No one beats Cambiocorsa on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita. Not yet at least.

A field of 12 fillies and mares entered the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap, a 6 1/2-furlong turf sprint in which Cambiocorsa tries for her seventh downhill win. The $100,000 Las Cienegas is her fifth start of the meet.

"If we're going to beat her, I think we're taking her on at the right time," said trainer Mike Machowsky, whose improving filly Sandra's Rose enters on a two-race win streak.

was widely touted before her debut last summer, but won only one of her first five starts.

"She always had talent, but mentally . . . she would get geared up and wound up," Machowsky said.

A daughter of Old Trieste owned by Jess Jackson, Sandra's Rose got her act together when the Santa Anita meet began.

"Getting her to relax was the key," Machowsky said, adding that "getting her to the top of the hill where it's quiet" proved beneficial.

In her first downhill try Jan. 22, Sandra's Rose finished second at 14-1, beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Cambiocorsa in a first-level allowance. It marked a turning point for Sandra's Rose, who won her next two starts decisively.

"Believe it or not, I think she's improved since her last race," Machowsky said.

Sandra's Rose will stretch out to two turns later at Hollywood Park, while may be due for a break. Cambiocorsa has made four starts this winter, and was fully extended to win her last at 3-5. Furthermore, she faces at least two pace rivals in Starkay and Mystic Chant. While Cambiocorsa has survived previous pace duels, the question Sunday is whether she can repel early challenges in her fifth start of the meet.

If Starkay or Mystic Chant soften up Cambiocorsa early, Sandra's Rose and jockey Martin Pedroza could be in the garden spot. Doug O'Neill trains Cambiocorsa, who is owned by Leatherman Racing and has won 6 of 11 overall. She is 6 for 6 down the hill and carries 120 pounds with Jon Court.

Lock and Key finished second in a second-level allowance against males in her U.S. debut, and the Group 3-placed European import is expected to improve second time out for trainer Ben Cecil.

Others in the field include , Danclare, Maryfield, Freakin Streakin, Awesome Lady, Da Svedonya, Fiorino to Sydney, and Mystic Chant. Pussycat Doll is a Grade 1 winner who would be making her first start on grass.