07/23/2008 11:00PM

She's Sensational vs. Wild Promises

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She’s Sensational has her work cut out for her when she faces Wild Promises in Saturday’s $50,000 Luther Burbank Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, Calif.

She’s Sensational lived up to her name in the Alameda County Fillies and Mares Handicap at Pleasanton on July 5, winning the 1 1/16-mile race by six lengths. That race was on dirt, and trainer John Martin said, “She’s better on the turf.”

The question for Martin is if She’s Sensational can handle Wild Promises, who has won two consecutive stakes. The two favorites drew the inside posts in a field of eight, with Wild Promises on the rail.

She’s Sensational ran fourth in her stakes debut, the June 8 Yerba Buena on the Golden Gate turf, a race won by Wild Promises. Wild Promises stole the 1 3/8-mile race while crawling on the lead, snapping a three-race winning streak for She’s Sensational.

Martin is hopeful the pace scenario will be different Saturday, which would give She’s Sensational a better chance with her off-the-pace style.

“I’ve always liked horses that relax and sit back,” Martin said. “That style really works on the turf. I think that’s why I like the turf so much. I thought she ran well in the Yerba Buena, but there was no pace to close against.”

She’s Sensational seems primed for a strong effort, Martin said.

“I think the wins have boosted her confidence,” Martin said. “She’s high on herself, and she’s training exceptional.”

Wild Promises is another of trainer Greg Gilchrist’s stakes stars, with 7 wins, 5 seconds, and 1 third in 13 career starts. She has won two straight turf stakes, the Mother’s Day Handicap at Bay Meadows and the Yerba Buena.

Wild Promises is not uncontrollable, and can stalk the pace if another horses takes the lead.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer sends out three runners: Andover the Cash, third to She’s Sensational in the Alameda County; Lemon Kiss, third in the Vacaville Handicap on July 13; and the multiple stakes winner Rivoltella.

Martin also entered Pamelot, a winner of three of her last four starts. Double Dip, who was second in the Alameda County, and Key Rose round out the field.