11/01/2011 2:24PM

Santa Anita: Conditions favor Princess Suances on turf


ARCADIA, Calif. – The turf course at Santa Anita was wet, and speed did not hold, when Princess Suances returned Oct. 7 following a 19-month layoff.

Princess Suances set a fast pace, led to deep stretch, and tired to fifth in a one-mile entry-level allowance for fillies and mares. On Thursday at Santa Anita, Princess Suances and jockey Brice Blanc try again. This time, conditions are far more favorable.

The past three weeks, 7 of 14 one-mile turf races at Santa Anita were won in wire-to-wire style. The profile is more pronounced with the rails at 15 feet – 4 of the last 5 mile turf races were won by the pacesetter. On Thursday, the rails remain at 15 feet. The course will be firm.

With a prep race under her belt, three solid workouts since, and racing over a course that favors her style, Princess Suances could be long gone in the seventh-race feature for first-level allowance fillies and mares.

The only entrant that could foul things up is Cayanna, a 3-year-old California-bred filly stretching to a mile after winning a statebred allowance sprint. However, Cayanna runs best from a pressing role; that strategy is likely by jockey Victor Espinoza.

Assuming that Cayanna rations her speed, Princess Suances could be loose on the lead. Darrell Vienna trains the 5-year-old mare for owner-breeder Red Baron’s Barn. Sired by Suances, she has won two races from seven starts and should start at a short price Thursday.

Cayanna, trained by Mike Machowsky, has won 2 of 11. Although one mile appears to be her maximum, three starts at the distance produced a win and two seconds.

If the pace unravels, it is anyone’s race from behind. So Belle is a 3-year-old filly facing older for the first time, and though she is winless in four U.S. starts, the import from England has hit the board three times here. Hector Berrios rides for trainer Ben Cecil.

Last Sting finished second, in front of Princess Suances, in the allowance last month. A deep closer with one win and four seconds from seven starts, she will roll late under Alonso Quinonez for trainer John Sadler. Other starters include Countess Vindi, Ruffled Feathers, No Ka Oi, and Glorified.

Two other grass races Thursday also might be won by front-runners. Ultimate Decision stretches out to a mile in race 3 for special-weight maidens; Emperor Stone could be the lone speed in race 5, a starter allowance sprint.