02/25/2009 12:00AM

Sayit may be hard to catch

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ARCADIA, Calif. - In her six-race career, Sayit has earned the admiration of trainer Vladimir Cerin.

"She's one of my favorites," he said on Wednesday.

Sayit has not earned that distinction with a flashy race record, just 1 win in 6 starts. It is her kind demeanor and ability that has earned Cerin's respect.

Now it is time to improve the race record, which Cerin and owners David and Holly Wilson are hopeful that Sayit can do when she starts in a $48,000 allowance race at 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on Friday.

Sayit, 4, has not started since finishing second in a one-mile optional claimer at Del Mar last August. It was her second start against winners, preceded by a third at Del Mar in a six-furlong allowance race where she led to early stretch and was beaten 2 3/4 lengths.

"She ran pretty well at Del Mar," Cerin said. "She got beat by the track bias."

Sayit has shown promising works in recent weeks at Santa Anita. Friday's race will be her second start here. Last April, returning from a layoff of nearly 10 months, she finished second against maidens.

"I'm a little worried whether she'll like this surface," Cerin said. "Hopefully, the distance and the surface will be to her liking."

Sayit's lone win occurred in a six-furlong maiden race last June. Cerin said the filly retains considerable potential.

"She hasn't had that many races," he said. "We don't know what she is yet."

Sayit is part of a field of five fillies and mares in Friday's seventh race. She may have an advantage as the lone front-runner. Sleep Tight has shown speed, but that was in a maiden claimer and a starter allowance at 1 1/16 miles, races she won here in January.

Masterful Miss and Unusual Spirit are threats from off the pace. Masterful Miss was second against a similar field on Jan. 29, and was second in the Bangles and Beads Stakes at Fairplex Park last September. Trained by Christopher Paasch, Masterful Miss is winless in her last 10 starts.

Unusual Spirit was third in a one-mile allowance race on Jan. 24. She won an optional claimer for statebreds at 6 1/2 furlongs as a 6-1 shot on Dec. 28.

Inspiration Within, winless in her last eight starts, breaks from the rail, and will be an outsider.