11/06/2009 12:00AM

Sprint suits Kays and Jays

Lone Star Park
Kays and Jays will make her first start since she was sidelined by a foot abscess in July.

ARCADIA, Calif. - There is no doubt that Kays and Jays is an outstanding sprinter. There is no doubt that she has been a source of frustration in recent months for trainer Mike Mitchell.

Kays and Jays ran second in the Grade 3 Azalea Stakes at Calder in July, but was sidelined following that race with a foot abscess. She finally returns to racing in Sunday's $58,000 Cascapedia Stakes at Santa Anita.

"She came back with a terrible foot on her," Mitchell said. "It took a while to heal it, but she's worked well the last few times. It's been an aggravating thing."

The Cascapedia Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies over seven furlongs, is the feature race on the final day of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting. The Hollywood Park fall meeting begins on Friday and runs through Dec. 20.

Kays and Jays has won 3 of 8 starts and $188,600 for Zayat Stables. In four starts for Mitchell, she has excelled in sprints but not in route races. Last spring, she won an optional claimer for turf sprinters and the Richland Stakes at Lone Star Park. In the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks over 1 1/16 miles, she was near the lead early but faded to finish last of seven.

In the six-furlong Azalea, Kays and Jays fought for the early lead and was beaten three-quarters of a length by First Passage.

"She ran her guts out in Florida," Mitchell said. "I think from six to seven furlongs is perfect for her."

Kans and Jays drew the rail in the Cascapedia and may need to use her speed to establish position. The race has drawn a competitive field, sort of a preview for the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes over the same course and distance here in late December.

There are three other stakes winners in the Cascapedia field - Emmy Darling, Kaweah Princess, and Saucey Evening.

Kaweah Princess has won minor stakes at Stockton and Fairplex Park this year, interrupted by two disappointing performances on turf at Del Mar. Saucey Evening, the champion 2-year-old California-bred filly of 2008, is winless in four starts this year, but won two statebred races last year.

Emmy Darling won an optional claimer here on Sept. 30, her first victory since the 2008 Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park.