09/19/2006 11:00PM

Sunset Kisses in from Illinois


MIAMI - There is a new girl on the block in the filly and mare turf division, and her name is Sunset Kisses.

Sunset Kisses, a 6-year-old daughter of Sky Classic, has been competing on the Illinois circuit for much of the season, but she was shipped to south Florida and into the barn of trainer Ron Spatz earlier this month following her third-place finish in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron Handicap. She will make her Calder debut Friday when she takes on five rivals in the $45,000 Cinnamon Girl, an overnight stakes that serves as a prep for the $100,000 Shocker T. Handicap on Oct. 14.

"Christine Janks sent me two horses because the Arlington season is over; there's nothing for them at Hawthorne and they are Florida-breds," said Spatz. "We haven't talked about the future, she just wanted to get her in here and get a race over the track, but if she runs well then we'll talk about bigger and better things, and I'm sure the Shocker T. would be one of them.

"She worked well over the racetrack," he added. "That should help her a lot, and I expect she'll run a good race, although her best game seems to be when she's on the front end, and I'm not sure she's fast enough to make the lead in this race Friday."

Spatz secured the services of leading rider Manoel Cruz to handle Sunset Kisses in the Cinnamon Girl.

Sunset Kisses will likely have to sit off the early speed of Wear Well and Out of Pride. Wear Well had her three-race win streak snapped in her last start, when she finished second after setting all the pace going seven furlongs under second-level allowance conditions on Sept. 9.

Out of Pride led most of the way en route to an optional claiming win at a mile earlier that same day for her fourth win in her last six starts.

A lively pace should enhance the chances of the stretch-running Tiger Belle, who has hit the board in each of her last four starts, all against stakes company. In her most recent outing, she finished third behind Darluna and Mocita in the Sambacarioca Stakes.

A Sea Trippi has options

Spatz said he's still excited thinking about the performance turned in last Saturday by the 3-year-old filly A Sea Trippi, who rallied to a convincing victory over fillies and mares in the $100,000 U Can Do It Handicap.

"I'm just tickled with the way she ran," said Spatz. "I had missed some time with her and wasn't sure she was quite ready for the race. You always worry whether you did enough, and I didn't feel I did. I guess I was wrong."

Spatz said he's not certain what will be next for A Sea Trippi.

"There are four places to choose from coming up later in the year and we'll pick two of them," said Spatz. "Distance will be the deciding factor. Six and one-half and seven furlongs is best for her, and if that means going up against older horses again, then so be it. I'd prefer that instead of running her six furlongs against 3-year-olds."