10/06/2010 6:33PM

Turf Sprint picture still hazy

Benoit & Associates
Unzip Me wins the Grade 3 Las Cienegas.

Just over four weeks out, the prospective field for the Turf Sprint remains very much in flux.

Gilt Edge Girl earned an automatic starting berth when she posted a 53-1 upset over 20 rivals in last Sunday's Win and You're In Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp, and provided the first Group 1 wins for trainer Clive Cox and 21-year-old jockey Luke Morris. It appears doubtful, however, that she will cross the pond.

"I think the [soft] ground was a big factor on Sunday," said Cox. "It's up in the air as to her future. . . . Watching the equestrian events going on in Kentucky at the moment, it looks as though they have had a very dry time looking by the color of the grass out there."

Lady of the Desert, a three-time group stakes winner at six furlongs in Great Britain, came up second-best. Her trainer, Brian Meehan, stated the 3-year-old filly would remain in training at 4, but made no mention of taking a crack at the Turf Sprint.

Closer to home, Unzip Me improved to 6 wins from 7 starts this year after wiring the Sen. Ken Maddy on opening day at the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meet. The ultra-consistent filly earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure (98), to go along with a string of 97-97-97-96-96 from March through August for trainer Marty Jones.

Gotta Have Her won last year's Sen. Ken Maddy as prelude to a runner-up finish in the Turf Sprint at 6 1/2 furlongs, but the stretch-running mare would have far less real estate to work with at five furlongs this year.

"I'm not sure," said trainer Jenine Sahadi, who will run the 6-year-old millionaire in Saturday's $400,000, one-mile First Lady at Keeneland and go from there.

The prospective lineup will come into sharper focus after two key preps this weekend: the Woodford at Keeneland on Saturday, and the Morvich Handicap (a Win-and-In event) at Oak Tree at Hollywood on Columbus Day.