02/17/2010 1:00AM

Sky's the limit for Witty

Benoit & Associates
Witty takes the Railbird last May at Hollywood Park under Victor Espinoza.

ARCADIA, Calif. - In just three starts last year, Witty showed that she was on her way to being one of the elite sprinters of her division. She won all three of those races, including the Railbird Stakes at Hollywood Park, before an injury sent her to sidelines, preventing her from running in races such as the Test or even the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Witty returns to action following a nine-month layoff in the sixth race on Thursday at Santa Anita, and if she comes back as good as she left, she is the day's bingo free space in the pick six. Fair warning to those who oppose her: Richard Mandella, who trains Witty, said, "She gives us the same feeling this year."

"We haven't lost any hope," he said.

Witty proved she could fire fresh last year, winning her debut at Santa Anita by 3 1/2 lengths against maidens. After capturing a first-level allowance race by 3 1/4 lengths, she defeated the highly regarded Carlsbad in the Railbird.

"We had to take a chip out of an ankle after the Railbird," Mandella said. "I'm anxious to see how she comes back."

Witty recuperated at two local farms, doing her final rehabilitation with Julie Adair, the daughter of legendary Quarter Horse jockey Bobby Adair.

Mandella said he made no effort to push Witty to make it back in time for a race like the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes earlier this meet. Instead, he brought her along at her pace, then looked for a race to which she was eligible. She should be a heavy favorite.

Five others are entered in the 6 1/2-furlong allowance race, which carries a purse of $53,000.

Joffe's Run is making her first start on this circuit and her first start in 16 months. She was a two-time stakes winner at Calder for trainer Marty Wolfson before going to the sidelines. She is now trained by Neil Drysdale.

Summers Peace is making her first start at this track. She is based at Golden Gate Fields, where she most recently was beaten a nose in a one-mile allowance race.

Made for Magic split the field when sixth of 11 in the Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap on Jan. 31. She is winless in four starts at this track.

U R All That I Am finished second in the Kalookan Queen going 6 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 3, but was no factor in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint last time out.

Supermodel was fifth and last in the Kalookan Queen.