04/15/2010 12:00AM

Specht forgives Antares World's flop


ALBANY, Calif. - Antares World will be looking for a little redemption Saturday in the $60,000 Golden Poppy, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Golden Gate Fields.

The Steve Specht-trained Antares World has arguably established herself as the best of the local 3-year-old fillies with four wins and a loss by a head in her past five starts here.

But Antares World, winner of the California Oaks, comes off a disappointing try two weeks ago in the Grade 2 Providencia at Santa Anita, where she ran eighth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths.

Specht said Antares World did not run her race in the Providencia after jockey Frank Alvarado took too strong a hold on her.

"I expected her to be running third, but she broke on the lead, and I think Frank fought her too much," Specht said. "He took hold of her, and they dropped over on her. She got shuffled back."

Antares World should like the turf, based on her pedigree. She is a daughter of Decarchy, a multiple graded stakes winner on the turf, and the mare Alashir's World, who was 2 for 5 on the turf. That's why Specht, though disappointed, was not discouraged by her initial turf effort.

"It wasn't like she threw in the towel," he said. "She did finish."

Three of Antares World's rivals on Saturday have won on turf, including On the Cover, who won her turf debut in her last start, capturing the Scottsdale Handicap at Turf Paradise on March 13.

On the Cover ran fourth in the Corte Madera Stakes here last Dec. 5 in only her second start, trailing Antares World and Bleach Blonde.

Bleach Blonde has two turf victories and was favored in the Scottsdale, where she finished fifth. Prior to that, she lost to Antares World in an allowance here.

Trainer Lloyd Mason said Bleach Blonde, owned and bred by his son, Brett, bled in both races.

Jules J could prove Antares World's toughest competition. She won her turf debut here by 15 lengths and also lost by a head to City to City, winner of the Providencia. She comes off a solid optional claiming win on March 19.

"Obviously, the timing's good," said Jules J's trainer, Billy Morey. "She seems to be going well and is training well. This is a perfect spot. She likes the turf."

Jules J was purchased for $30,000 at the Barrett's sale in March 2009.

"When we bought her, I said that I thought she'd go long on the turf because of her build and her stride," Morey said.