05/01/2008 12:00AM

Secret Gypsy makes long-awaited return


Secret Gypsy has raced just once, eight months ago, yet she left quite the impression, setting a track record for 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga. Secret Gypsy makes her long-awaited return to the races when she faces eight other 3-year-old fillies, all with far more experience, in the Grade 3, $150,000 La Troienne Stakes.

Coming off an extended layoff in a stakes race is certainly an ambitious spot, but when a trainer of the quality of Ronny Werner does it, he's tipping his hand as to how his horse is training.

"She is training great," Werner confirmed Thursday morning. "She doesn't have near the experience that the others have. She's also had time off. And in these graded races, they don't let you breathe. But she's a very talented filly. She takes everything in stride. She's very professional.

"I had thought about giving her an out at Keeneland, but it didn't work out. It's not ideal. I'd have liked to have had an out beforehand, but we thought we'd go ahead and give her a shot here."

Secret Gypsy romped by 6 1/2 lengths in her debut while leading from start to finish. Later last summer at Saratoga, she fractured a cannon bone in a workout, and had a screw inserted in the bone, Werner said.

The La Troienne, at 7 1/2 furlongs, also lured Game Face, who was a dazzling winner of the Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park in January, and Informed Decision, who is coming off a powerful victory against second-level allowance company last month at Keeneland.

Game Face could be favored. She was second most recently in Gulfstream's Davona Dale Stakes to Bsharpsonata, who was scheduled to run on Friday in the Kentucky Oaks. Game Face should get a good trip behind the speed of Secret Gypsy and Keep the Peace.

Keep the Peace, an unlucky loser to Bsharpsonata in the Forward Gal at Gulfstream, is back on dirt after fading in the Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland. She won her first two races while leading from gate to wire.