01/15/2010 12:00AM

She's Funomenal faces test

Benoit & Associates
She's Funomenal, unbeaten in two starts, steps up for Saturday's Grade 2 Santa Ynez.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The graded stakes debut of She's Funomenal in Saturday's $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita will test the filly's patience.

The Grade 2 Santa Ynez for 3-year-old fillies will be her first start at seven furlongs, following wins in a maiden race and the Ifyoucouldseemenow Stakes, both over 6 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park in the fall.

Saturday, the key for jockey Joel Rosario is urging She's Funomenal to settle for the first half-mile and save something for the finish - and the expected late threat from Grade 1 stakes runners Amen Hallelujah and Franny Freud.

Trained by co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer for a partnership that includes Summit Racing and STD Racing Stable, She's Funomenal has won on the lead and by stalking the pace. Those wins give assistant trainer Dan Ward confidence that She's Funomenal can adapt to whatever scenario occurs Saturday.

"No matter where she is, the key is as long as she's comfortable," Ward said. "That might be on the lead or relaxed."

In the Ifyoucouldseemenow Stakes, She's Funomenal was second on the rail on the backstretch, overcame a touch of trouble when in traffic, and won by three-quarters of a length over Excellent News.

In the Santa Ynez, She's Funomenal breaks from post 5 in a field of six.

"On the outside, she could finish and she might be on the lead anyway," Ward said. "She's got speed."

Amen Hallelujah has been third in Grade 1 races in her last two starts - the Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland in October and the Hollywood Starlet Stakes at Hollywood Park last month. Trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., Amen Hallelujah has won 2 of 6 starts, but has yet to win a stakes.

Franny Freud has won 4 of 6 starts and $296,029 racing in New York and Ontario. She has won three sprint stakes as a stalker. Trained by John Terranova, Franny Freud won the six-furlong Fifth Avenue Stakes by five lengths in the mud at Aqueduct on Nov. 15. Last October, Franny Freud was fifth in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park.

Seriously, Switch, and Whispering Hush are the other starters.

Seriously was third in the Ifyoucouldseemenow Stakes. Switch beat maidens in her debut at Hollywood Park on Dec. 13. Whispering Hush is making her fourth stakes appearance, having placed in two statebred races last year.