01/11/2008 12:00AM

Turn Away looks ready to roll


After Country Star's win in the Hollywood Starlet, Bobby Frankel wouldn't go so far as to say there was a better one in the barn. But the Hall of Fame trainer might have one of nearly equal ability in Turn Away, and that makes her an intimidating proposition against five rivals on Sunday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.

"I don't know if she can run as far as Country Star," Frankel said of Turn Away. "She's out of a sprinting mare. But she's a very, very nice filly."

Like Country Star, Turn Away is by Empire Maker, whom Frankel trained to win the 2003 Belmont Stakes. Turn Away is out of Averti, a daughter of Known Fact.

Turn Away has raced just twice - both times last fall at Churchill Downs - and displayed plenty of promise in those starts. Sent off the 6-5 favorite against 10 rivals in her debut, she crushed maidens by 9 1/4 lengths going seven furlongs Oct. 28. Frankel brought her back four weeks later for the Grade 2 Golden Rod at 1 1/16 miles. Sent off the even-money favorite, Turn Away finished third to the unbeaten Pure Clan following a rough trip.

"It was a screwed-up race," Frankel said. "She stumbled leaving the gate, then got caught behind horses. I was a little disappointed she didn't win."

The 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel originally was scheduled for Jan. 5, but wet weather that day caused the cancellation of racing. The five horses entered last week remained in the Santa Ysabel, but the additional eight days gave enough time for the longshot Rareville, who last raced on Dec. 30, to join the party.

Because of the postponement, the race had to be redrawn. Turn Away originally had the outside post in a field of five, but in the redrawn race, she wound up in post 3 in a field of six.

Frankel said the delay should not matter. Turn Away is based at Hollywood Park, where training was uninterrupted despite last weekend's wet weather.

"Everything's good," Frankel said Friday morning. "We could train here. It worked out okay."

Of the five others in the race, the most accomplished is Grace Anatomy, who was third in the Alcibiades at Keeneland in October. She, however, has turned in two poor efforts since then, including an eighth-place finish behind Country Star in the Hollywood Starlet. She is switching to Garrett Gomez for this race.

Kazamira, favored in her two starts, rallied strongly to defeat maidens last time out. A daughter of Dynaformer trained by John Shirreffs, she figures to improve with distance.