02/16/2010 12:00AM

St Trinians will challenge males in Big Cap


St Trinians, who captured the Santa Maria Handicap on Saturday, will be pointed to the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 6 and attempt to become the first female to win the storied Big Cap.

The options for St Trinians were to either run there, or wait another week and take on Zenyatta in the Grade 1, $250,000 Santa Margarita Invitational on March 13, according to her trainer, Mike Mitchell.

"It looks like we're leaning toward the Big Cap," Mitchell said. "I lose a week, but when you look at who's going to run in the race, and the weights, it makes sense. She should get a few pounds in the handicap. The distance shouldn't bother her. I have to have three good weeks with her to do it."

The Big Cap is at 1 1/4 miles. Jeranimo, who won the Strub Stakes on Saturday, could also end up there. Others pointing for that race include Acclamation, Dakota Phone, High Court Drama, Misremembered, Palladio, Philatelist, Pool Play, Tiger's Rock, and Unusual Smoke. Richard's Kid also could run in the Big Cap before going to the Dubai World Cup.

"I haven't ruled it out," said Baffert, who trains Richard's Kid.

St Trinians has won all four of her starts in this country, all on synthetic surfaces, since arriving from Europe.

"I want to keep her on synthetic," Mitchell said. He ruled out the possibility of facing Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn on April 9.

Hyades should flourish at long distances

Trainer Ben Cecil has high hopes for Hyades, who was an impressive winner of his United States debut in a first-level allowance race going 1 1/8 miles on turf last Friday. He had been trained in Britain by Cecil's uncle Henry.

"They thought highly of him there. They thought he might be a Derby horse, but he was a bleeder," Cecil said. "The bleeding caught up with him. We thought he might do better here because he can use Lasix."

Cecil said longer races should suit Hyades.

"We want him to go a mile and a quarter down the road," he said.

* Santa Anita is offering a lunch special on Wednesdays through Fridays in the clubhouse terrace restaurant that includes soup of the day, a premium sandwich, pie, and a beverage for $15.95.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen