03/28/2008 11:00PM

She's All Eltish takes control


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - She's All Eltish had yet to run a bad race in her first six career starts. But she'd never run a race nearly as good as the one she ran Saturday when she drew off to a convincing 6 3/4-length victory over Robbie's Gal in the $200,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

She's All Eltish raced rankly around the opening bend before settling six lengths off the early leaders in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss. Jockey Eddie Castro waited as long as he could before unleashing She's All Eltish, who made a bold move around the second turn to open a commanding and ultimately insurmountable advantage in early stretch. Robbie's Gal rallied from the rear of the pack to finish second, three-quarters of a length in front of 8-5 favorite Highest Class, who lost all chance when steadied back sharply along the inside leaving the three-eighths pole.

She's All Eltish, a daughter of Eltish owned by Denholtz Stables LLC, paid $10.80. Her final time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:51.80 over a fast track.

"The key with her is timing her move, because she needs horses to run at so she'll stay focused," said trainer Marty Wolfson, who purchased She's All Eltish from Live Oak Plantation as a yearling for $22,000. "She's opened big leads a couple of times and got caught because she lost her focus. Eddie sat as long as he could, and I was concerned he'd moved too soon, but it was really only the last eighth of a mile that he got into her."

Wolfson said She's All Eltish, who is equally adept on turf and dirt, is nominated for the Kentucky Oaks, but he's uncertain where she'll run next.

Shirley Jones: Sweep for Sugar Swirl

Sugar Swirl completed a sweep of the three graded stakes races for filly and mare sprinters during the 2008 meet and gave jockey Javier Castellano the first of his two stakes wins on the card when she rallied to a 5 1/2-length victory over Baroness Thatcher in the $200,000 Shirley Jones Handicap. The Grade 2 Shirley Jones had been postponed from the previous Saturday, when the second half of the card was canceled due to unsafe track conditions.

As was the case in her previous victories, in the Grade 3 First Lady and Hurricane Bertie handicaps, Sugar Swirl rated off the pace before unleashing a powerful closing surge once tipping outside for clearance entering the stretch. The win was the fourth straight for Sugar Swirl, a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Touch Gold who is owned by the Stronach Stables.

Sugar Swirl, who carried high weight of 124 pounds, covered seven furlongs in 1:09.48 and paid $3.40.

"She came into this race better than the first two," said trainer Brian Lynch. "She's a big, strong filly, so carrying all that weight was not as big an issue as it might be. And just like her last two wins she settled well and rated nicely."

Lynch said he's not sure what will be next for Sugar Swirl.

"She'll get a little break because she's had three hard races this winter," said Lynch, who stables regularly at Woodbine during the summer. "We had thought about bringing her back in the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs. I guess we'll just wait and see what Mr. Stronach wants to do."

Palm Beach: Sporting Art by a neck

Castellano came back an hour later to guide Sporting Art to a neck victory over stablemate Flying Dismount in the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes. Both 3-year-olds are trained by Christophe Clement.

Sporting Art, a son of Doneraile Court owned by Jon and Sarah Kelly, was purchased privately at the end of his 2-year-old campaign in England and joined Clement's stable at Payson Park in December. He finished second, beaten a neck, in his only previous start in this country here earlier this winter.

Sporting Art rated off a fast pace in the 1 1/8-mile Palm Beach, then swung four wide while rallying into the stretch before outfinishing Flying Dismount. The latter, who won his previous two starts at Tampa Bay Downs, steadied briefly approaching the stretch before finishing willingly once clear. Moral Compass was third.

Sporting Art, the tepid favorite, paid $8.20 after covering the distance in 1:45.98 over a firm course.

"I tried to get them to dead heat for win but couldn't do it," Clement said, joking. "I thought the final time of the race, which was just over a second off the track record set by English Channel, is remarkable considering these are 3-year-olds."

Clement said Sporting Art could make his next start in Keeneland's Lexington Stakes.