01/29/2012 7:09PM

Santa Anita: Las Virgenes likely next target for Willa B Awesome

Shigeki Kikkawa
The filly Willa B Awesome may try to stretch out to a mile for the March 3 Las Virgenes.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Willa B Awesome may have earned a start in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes on March 3 with her front-running win in Saturday’s $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Willa Be Awesome won the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel over 1 1/16 miles by 3 1/2 lengths, earning her first graded stakes win. The victory left trainer Walther Solis thinking that Willa Be Awesome fits in the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes over a mile.

“We have to nominate and see how the race plays out,” Solis said of the Las Virgenes. “I’m really happy with the way she came out. She doesn’t look tired and that’s the main thing.”

The Las Virgenes Stakes is also on the schedule of Reneesgotzip, the speedy undefeated winner of the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 15. Solis said that Willa Be Awesome is not a committed front-runner and led in the Santa Ysabel after the scratch of the maiden race winner Eden’s Moon.

“I was planning on laying closer to her,” he said.

Owned by a partnership, Willa B Awesome, a California-bred by Awesome Gambler, has won 3 of 10 starts and $233,896.