09/04/2009 12:00AM

Sprints are Evita Argentina's specialty

Benoit & Associates
Evita Argentina won the Grade 2 A Gleam at Hollywood Park in July.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Evita Argentina has made race planning simple for trainer John Sadler. Stick to sprints, and watch her unveil her late kick.

Evita Argentina has won 5 of 10 starts, all in sprints, including four stakes. She seems to be getting better at an ideal time.


Friday at Del Mar, she will attempt to win her second consecutive graded stakes for female sprinters in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo over 6 1/2 furlongs. In July, Evita Argentina won the at Hollywood Park, her first start against older fillies and mares.

The $200,000 Rancho Bernardo is part of the Breeders' Cup Win and You're In program for the Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 6, a race on Sadler's mind.

Friday's race could set up well for Evita Argentina, who will be in pursuit of the speedy Carlsbad, another 3-year-old filly.

"I hear Carlsbad is going, that's pretty good," Sadler said. "There is some good early speed."

Evita Argentina won the seven-furlong A Gleam by two lengths. She has raced primarily at seven furlongs this year, including a win against 3-year-old males in the at Santa Anita last February. Last year, she won the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes here over 6 1/2 furlongs, finishing a length in front of eventual divisional champion Stardom Bound.

Last fall, Evita Argentina finished ninth in the BC Juvenile Fillies and won the at Hollywood Park over seven furlongs.

"She's already a stakes winner [at Del Mar] and she's outlasted her peers," Sadler said.

Carlsbad had not started at this time last year, but has since won 6 of 8 starts, including five stakes at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. Trainer Jeff Mullins is hoping she can be loose on the lead in the Rancho Bernardo, which drew a field of nine.

"I'm not sure she'll have any pressure," he said. "I think she'll do all right."

Ashley's Kitty is capable of finishing in the top three if she can duplicate her performance in a win over optional claimers on Aug. 16. Trainer Ted H. West said that was one of her best efforts.

"She'll have to step it up," he said, "but I think she can do it."