03/17/2011 4:08PM

Santa Anita: Two fillies emerge as top horses for Gaines

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The leading horses in trainer Carla Gaines’s stable have switched from males to females in recent months.

Dancing in Silks, the winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, was transferred to trainer Kathy Walsh earlier this year after a winless season in 2010. Temple City, the winner of the Cougar II Handicap last summer at Del Mar and the runner-up in the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup last November, was retired to stud in December.

In their places, Malibu Pier and Mildly Offensive have emerged.

Malibu Pier, a 4-year-old filly, will be after her first stakes win in Saturday’s Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes. Mildly Offensive, a 3-year-old filly, starts in Sunday’s Santa Paula Stakes following an exciting win against maidens in her debut last month.

Malibu Pier will make her fourth start of the meeting on Saturday, preceded by a second in the La Brea Stakes, fifth in the El Encino Stakes, and third in the Buena Vista Handicap on turf.

Owned by B. Wayne Hughes, Malibu Pier was fighting an illness in the El Encino, a race Gaines dismisses.

“She wasn’t well after the race,” Gaines said. “She had mucus four or five days after the race. We sort of assessed she was incubating something during that time.”

In the Buena Vista, Malibu Pier was the 3-1 favorite, and closed from fifth to finish 1 1/4 lengths behind Cozi Rosie. The result has left Gaines optimistic that Malibu Pier can be effective in the Santa Ana, which is run over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

“She had a wide trip the whole way,” Gaines said. “Her best races to date have been on the grass.”