Updated on 09/16/2011 6:39AM

Time to fish or cut bait

Email

ARCADIA, Calif. - Tout Charmant, once a model of consistency, has been a puzzle for trainer Ron McAnally in the last few months.

In 2000, Tout Charmant earned more than $1 million and was in the top three in all seven of her starts. In 2001, she was unplaced in three starts in the final four months of the year.

A 6-year-old, Tout Charmant has a chance Sunday to convince McAnally and owners Bob and Janice McNair that her racing days are not over. Tout Charmant starts as the 120-pound highweight in the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap, a Grade 2 over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Even though Tout Charmant is coupled with the Australian import Old Money, she may not be favored. That role may go to Vencera, who was second in the Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 15.

The front-running Dancingonice will be well bet, as will Janet, who won the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes here last September.

With career earnings of $1,622,879, Tout Charmant is the highest earner in the San Gorgonio. To be ridden by Chris McCarron, she drew the rail for what may be her final career start.

"If she doesn't run well, they'll retire her," McAnally said. "It's up to her."

Tout Charmant has not started since finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap here on Nov. 4. She finished 2 1/4 lengths behind Golden Apples without an excuse.

The layoff is a concern for McAnally even though Tout Charmant has trained well in recent weeks.

"It worries me a little," McAnally said. "I think she'll run well if she isn't short, but there's a chance of that because she hasn't raced in a while."

The rail post is not ideal for Tout Charmant, but she is not expected to be a pace factor.

Dancingonice, who nearly stole the Las Palmas at 17-1 before finishing second, will lead. Impeachable, a longshot who finished third in the Grade 3 Monrovia Handicap on Dec. 31, may offer an early challenge.

Tout Charmant will be closing as will Janet, who was third in the Las Palmas and sixth over yielding turf in the Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 25.

Her trainer, Darrell Vienna, is worried that Janet's extensive campaign of 11 starts in 2001 may have taken its toll.

"I've been looking for her to tail off but I don't see it," Vienna said.

"She's had a lot of racing. I was toying with the idea of skipping the race."

for entries.

Subscribers: to purchase Santa Anita past performances.

Non-subscribers: to purchase Santa Anita past performances.