10/14/2008 11:00PM

Synnin and Grinnin will be tested


ARCADIA, Calif. - Synnin and Grinnin began her 2008 campaign with a loss in a $25,000 maiden race for claimers at Santa Anita in March. Remarkably, she has reeled off five consecutive wins since that race, even winning a division of the Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar last month.

To extend the winning streak, Synnin and Grinnin faces a stern test in a $53,000 allowance race over six furlongs at Santa Anita on Friday. The speedy 4-year-old filly is part of a field of six fillies and mares and will face early pressure from Overly Tempting and Peppermint Lounge.

Synnin and Grinnin has won twice on the main track and three times on turf during her winning streak. Trainer Howard Zucker passed two stakes on the hillside turf course earlier at this meeting because he did not want to run Synnin and Grinnin over a course without an inside rail throughout the race. When the field crosses over the main track from the hillside turf course to the main turf course in such races, there is a small section with a temporary rail.

"She overreacts to things," Zucker said. "I'm a little scared to try her on the hill."

Synnin and Grinnin, a $105,000 yearling purchase at Barretts in 2005, lost her first four starts at 2 and 3 before injury forced a year off. When she returned earlier this year, Zucker admits to being discouraged about her prospects.

"She was unsettled," he said. "We didn't want her in the barn if she was going to continue that way. She did mature and get some confidence running with cheaper horses."

The picture has brightened considerably, and Zucker thinks she can be effective Friday. Synnin and Grinnin, owned by Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny, has drawn the inside and will be in front early, Zucker said.

"She's going to go to the lead," he said. "There is a ton of speed. They've drawn outside, and that's an advantage to them."

Overly Tempting, who has placed in three stakes this year, is drawn next to Synnin and Grinnin and will be prominent early. Peppermint Lounge, trained by Carla Gaines, has won her last two starts, an optional claimer at Del Mar over five furlongs on turf and an allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs here Sept. 26.

"It's a tough little race," Zucker said. "Carla's horse looks like a monster."