03/02/2011 2:21PM

Sugarinthemorning returns on turf at Santa Anita


ARCADIA, Calif. – There was enough optimism about Sugarinthemorning’s campaign as a 2-year-old last year to start her in the Grade 1 Darley Debutante at Del Mar, a race in which she finished sixth.

She later won an allowance race at Hollywood Park but was unplaced in two more starts before trainer Ron McAnally decided she needed a winter break. The vacation ends Friday, when Sugarinthemorning makes her turf debut in an optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course, the first race at Santa Anita.

“We had high hopes for her in the beginning,” McAnally said. “She lost a little weight and was getting a little nervous, so we decided to give her some time off. So far, it seems to have worked.”

Sugarinthemorning has yet to work on turf. The filly is by Candy Ride out of the In Excess mare Social Belle.

“I really feel like she’ll like it,” McAnally said.

The field of nine has six other fillies with stakes experience, including Scarlet Starlet, who can claim such a distinction even though she was last of three in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes here Jan. 8. She later finished sixth in an allowance race over a mile on turf but was prominent for the first six furlongs of that race.

Teddy’s Promise makes her second start on turf after a troubled ninth in the Grade 3 La Habra Stakes on the hillside turf course Feb. 21.

“She’s a bit immature but she’s getting it together,” trainer David Hofmans said. “I thought this might be a bit quick back, but she didn’t do much in her last start. This looks like a good start for her.”

Hofmans also starts Lunch Time Diva, who won a maiden race on the hillside turf course in her first start on the surface Feb. 11. Advantage Player won a maiden race on turf Jan. 13 but has been unplaced in two subsequent starts in stakes on the course and is entered for an $80,000 claiming price.

There is one import in the field in So Belle. Trained by Ben Cecil, So Belle, a Singspiel filly, has not started since winning a six-furlong maiden race at Leicester, England, in June. She has worked steadily in recent weeks for Cecil.