Updated on 03/02/2012 4:45PM

Santa Anita: Reneesgotzip tries to carry speed a mile in Las Virgenes

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Benoit & Associates
Reenesgotzip, an easy winner sprinting in the Santa Ynez, will stretch out to a route for Saturday's Las Virgenes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Reneesgotzip will be the filly to catch in Saturday’s $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes over a mile at Santa Anita. It is the stretch run of that race that will be a testing ground for the crack sprinter.

“It’s definitely a key race for her to decide whether she goes to the Santa Anita Oaks or if she’s a one-turn filly,” trainer Peter Miller said.

Reneesgotzip is unbeaten in two starts – a maiden race at Hollywood Park in December and a win by 7 3/4 lengths in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs here on Jan. 15. The Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes may lead to a start in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks over 1 1/16 miles on March 31.

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Owned by the Lanni Family Trust, Reneesgotzip has led throughout her wins. Jockey Corey Nakatani will have her on the front in the Las Virgenes, which drew a field of eight.

“We’re not going to slow her down too much,” Miller said. “We’ll let her do her thing. We’re not going to change her style.”

Reneesgotzip has had five published workouts at Hollywood Park since the Santa Ynez, including seven furlongs in 1:26.60 on Feb. 20 and five furlongs in 59.40 seconds from the gate last Sunday. The five-furlong workout was the fastest of 32 works at the distance.

Reneesgotzip pulled away from five rivals in the last quarter-mile of the Santa Ynez, giving Miller confidence that two-turn races are within her range.

“I think she’ll get a mile to a mile and an eighth,” he said. “She’s fast, but she’s not speed crazy. I like the way she kicks at the quarter-mile. I think at least a mile is at least within a scope.”

With the exception of the sidelined Grade 1 stakes winner Weemissfrankie, the Las Virgenes field includes Southern California’s top 3-year-old fillies. Killer Graces and Charm the Maker, who are part of the Las Virgenes field, were first and second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes at Hollywood Park in December. Killer Graces returned to finish second to Willa B Awesome in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes over 1 1/16 miles here on Jan. 28.

Willa B Awesome set the pace in that race, but trainer Walther Solis said earlier this week that he wants his filly to stalk Reneesgotzip.

Made to Love Her, second in the Santa Ynez; Open Water, who is making her stakes debut; and Your Special Day, unplaced in two stakes, will be longshots.

Eden’s Moon will attract support. Trained by Bob Baffert, Eden’s Moon was second to Reneesgotzip on Dec. 18, but returned to win a maiden race over a mile here on Jan. 8 by 11 1/2 lengths as a heavy favorite.

“I’ve brought her along at her own pace,” Baffert said. “The distance won’t be a problem, it’s whether she’s fast enough. She’s doing well.

This race gets her ready for the [Santa Anita] Oaks.”

Recent Las Virgenes winners

Year Horse Beyer
2011 Zazu 89
2010 Blind Luck 88
2009 Stardom Bound 85
2008 Golden Doc A 94
2007 Rags to Riches 93

Average winning Beyer: 95.86

Highest winning Beyer: Serena Song (1995), Excellent Meeting (1999), 108

Lowest winning Beyer: Cheval Volant, 87 (1990)

Las Virgenes-Kentucky Oaks winners: Fran's Valentine (1985), Goodbye Halo (1988), Lite Light (1991), Keeper Hill (1998), Rags to Riches (2007), and Blind Luck (2010)

 

Las Virgenes S. (G1), Post Time: 4:38 PT Saturday

Purse: $250,000; 1 mile

Post

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

ML Odds

1

Your Special Day

J. Cassidy

M. Smith

30-1

1

Charm The Maker

R. McAnally

J. Rosario

5-1

1

Willa B Awesome

W. Solis

M. Pedroza

6-1

1

Killer Graces

J. Hollendorfer

J. Talamo

5-1

1

Eden's Moon

B. Baffert

M. Garcia

9-5

1

Made To Love Her

J. Kasparoff

R. Bejarano

12-1

1

Reneesgotzip

P. Miller

C. Nakatani

8-5

1

Open Water

E. Guillot

V. Espinoza

20-1