10/29/2009 11:00PM

Silver Swallow drill shows she belongs


ARCADIA, Calf. - The 5 a.m. darkness hides almost everything on the Santa Anita main track, but two hours before sunrise on Friday morning the white silhouette of Silver Swallow cut an unmistakable profile.

The gray 5-year-old slipped virtually unnoticed into the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint pre-entries, so it was appropriate her final big workout for trainer Bruce Headley was in the relative anonymity of pre-dawn.

Silver Swallow and workmate Zilla were the first horses on the track Friday morning, working in the dark with almost no one around. Headley needed Silver Swallow to work big and prove she belongs in the Filly and Mare Sprint against the likes of Ventura and Sara Louise, who also worked big Friday.

Although the Breeders' Cup is tough, Headley believes Silver Swallow belongs.

"She finished third to Zenyatta, second to Rags to Riches, and she's beaten Indian Blessing," Headley said.

Silver Swallow has never won a graded stakes but hit the board five times against graded company. A three-time winner of $341,038 from 19 starts, Silver Swallow will be starting for the first time since July 18 at Hollywood Park. "We always thought about the Breeders' Cup, but she got body sore at Del Mar, and you can't keep training them when they get sore," Headley said.

When she returned to Santa Anita in fall and resumed daily exercise on the dirt training track, Silver Swallow came back around. Alex Solis will ride Silver Swallow.

Solis was regular rider for Kona Gold, Headley's 2000 BC Sprint winner who competed in five BC Sprints before he retired in 2003. Kona Gold died this fall in Kentucky.

Friday morning, Solis was up early to work Silver Swallow. She broke off three lengths behind Zilla, came around that rival into the lane, and powered the final eighth to complete six furlongs in 1:12.80.

Headley's daughter, assistant trainer Karen Headley, was thrilled. "Was that perfect, or not? That was perfect," she said.

A deep closer, Silver Swallow needs speed to run at, which will be supplied by Headley-trained Free Flying Soul. She won a restricted stakes on Oct. 12 with ease and will set the pace under Mike Smith.

One hour after Silver Swallow's work, dirt specialist Sara Louise turned in an impressive half-mile work under Richard Migliore, but not before she gave Migliore a swift kick in the heel as he was adjusting his right stirrup. "I've been riding horses for 34 years, and it's the first time I've been kicked like that" while on top of horse, Migliore said.

Sara Louise looked terrific working 47.98 seconds breezing, according to Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Welsch. Migliore said, "she breezed super, she gets over this track really, really nice."

Godolphin assistant Rick Mettee said Frankie Dettori would ride Sara Louise, and Rajiv Maragh would ride Seventh Street.

Garrett Gomez will ride likely favorite Ventura, who had an outstanding workout Friday at Hollywood Park in 59.80 breezing.