01/04/2011 4:02PM

Spring Style to get some time off

Benoit & Associates
Spring Style will get some time off before a possible start in the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap on March 19 or the $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap on April 16.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Last year, when Spring Style was mired in a five-race losing streak, trainer Ben Cecil contemplated starting the turf mare in a claiming race.

“At one point, I thought of running her for $80,000,” he said. “I’m glad I didn’t do that.”

Spring Style’s value is well above $80,000 after her upset win over the heavily favored Harmonious in Saturday’s Grade 2 Robert Frankel Stakes. The win has left Cecil planning a break for the 6-year-old mare before the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap on March 19 or the $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap on April 16.

“I think she does better with time between races,” he said. “She’s pretty good right now.”

Spring Style may face Harmonious or Beverly D. Stakes winner Eclair de Lune in those races. Eclair de Lune was scratched from the Frankel after trainer Ron McAnally decided she had missed too much time because of wet weather in December.

Spring Style, who races for Cecil’s wife, Kristy, and Zillah Reddam, won her second consecutive race in the Frankel, preceded by an allowance race at Hollywood Park over a mile on turf on Nov. 19.

“After her race in November, I saw this race and thought it was a chance to get some black type,” Cecil said “Being by Pivotal, it makes her more valuable.”

There were just four runners in the Frankel. Spring Style stalked Powerofvoodoo through a slow pace, took the lead in the stretch, and was fully extended to hold off Harmonious, winning by a nose.

“On paper, I didn’t think we could beat the favorite, but in four-horse fields anything can happen,” Cecil said.

Spring Style has won 5 of 16 starts and $245,477. The winner’s share of $90,000 from Saturday’s race is more gratifying than a big check that would have been collected from a claim, Cecil said.

“It’s especially nice when you own half of them,” Cecil said. “It makes quite a difference.”