01/13/2012 3:41PM

Santa Anita: Reneesgotzip the one to catch in Santa Ynez


ARCADIA, Calif. – Based on a sparkling December debut that earned the top Beyer Speed Figure (98) of the year by a California juvenile filly, Reneesgotzip might be a slam dunk when she makes the second start of her career Sunday.

But trainer Peter Miller is aware of the potential trap.

“You’re always afraid, when they run that fast the first time, you’re afraid of them bouncing,” Miller said. “When they run those fast numbers, you don’t want to run them right back.”

Reneesgotzip has had a month between starts, and Sunday at Santa Anita, the Grade 2 Santa Ynez for 3-year-old fillies is hers to lose. Six entered, and Miller is right about Reneesgotzip’s chances: “If she runs like she did first time out, she’ll be tough to beat.”

Reneesgotzip is the speed of the 6 1/2-furlong sprint, which kicks off the pick-six sequence as race 4. But the race is not a foregone conclusion, and if Reneesgotzip comes down to Earth, several are capable of upsets.

Candrea returns to a sprint after misfiring twice in route races; Rowdy Gal won both starts at Hollywood Park in convincing fashion; Made to Love followed her maiden win with a four-length victory in the Moccasin Stakes. Painted Woman and Lady Hokulea also entered.

The race revolves around Reneesgotzip, who was not expected to win her debut Dec. 18.

“She was training really well, but [Eden’s Moon] had gotten all the hype,” Miller said. “I thought, well, we’re running for second.”

But it was Reneesgotzip that wired the field in 1:09.05, earning a big figure that was flattered when runner-up Eden’s Moon returned Jan. 6 to win a maiden route race by more than 11 lengths. Corey Nakatani is back aboard Reneesgotzip, and Miller expects her to reproduce the effort.

“She never showed any signs of being tired or anything,” Miller said. “She’s plenty fit and ready. She’s sharp. I expect her to run well again.”

If she runs another 98 Beyer, the Santa Ynez is history. But if Reneesgotzip regresses, then Rowdy Gal, Candrea, or Made to Love might upset.

Last spring, Candrea was among the top 2-year-old fillies on the circuit, but after a big debut victory, she got sick and missed the summer. She won a stakes at Fairplex in her comeback, finished second in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf, then lost at Churchill Downs and Delta Downs by 20 or more lengths each time.

Trainer Bob Baffert believes she will benefit from a turnback in distance.

“She looks good, she’s doing well,” he said. “I think she’s better around one turn.”

Baffert also entered Lady Hokulea.

“There’s no [allowance] race for her,” Baffert said. “I’ve been entering her . . . I’ll give her one more shot” in a stakes.

John Sadler trains Rowdy Gal, whose sharp wins in maiden and allowance races at Hollywood make her a legitimate contender. A daughter of Pure Prize, she continues to post fast works at Hollywood and should get a good trip tucked just off the pace.

Jim Kasparoff trains Made to Love Her, four-length winner of the Nov. 20 Moccasin. Painted Woman makes her first start on dirt after wining 2 of 4 on synthetic surfaces at Keeneland and Woodbine. She is trained by Steve Asmussen.

Santa Ynez Stakes (G2), Post Time: 2:03 PT Sunday

Purse: $150,000; 6 1/2 furlongs





ML Odds


Made to Love Her

J. Kasparoff

R. Bejarano




P. Miller

C. Nakatani



Rowdy Gal

J. Sadler

J. Rosario



Painted Woman

S. Asmussen

M. Smith



Lady Hokulea

J. Talamo

B. Baffert




B. Baffert

M. Garcia