03/18/2007 11:00PM

Twins debut in race 1 Wednesday


ARCADIA, Calif. - It's time to bring out the babies. Here it is only the third week of March, but the foal crop of 2005 will have its first chance to race at Santa Anita this meet on Wednesday, when 10 2-year-old fillies, all making their debut, are scheduled to sprint a quarter-mile.

The baby race kicks off the Wednesday program, whose feature is the day's second race, a first-level allowance for California-bred female sprinters going 6 1/2 furlongs.

Trainer Wesley Ward, who has dominated the quarter-mile 2-year-old sprints in recent years, appears to have the likely favorite in Excessive Heat, whose three most recent drills all have been the best of the morning at the distance. Excessive Heat is the first foal out of the mare Newport Nikki, who was second in a quarter-mile race in her first start in 2002.

Ward, who bred Excessive Heat and co-owns the filly, has won with 9 of 18 starters over the last five years in these quarter-mile races for 2-year-olds.

There are only eight betting interests in the first race, owing to a pair of coupled entries. The most noteworthy is the entry of Kaylasrocketdancer and Kyles Rocketdancer, who are twins. They are by the obscure sire Rocket Cat and out of the Nijinsky's Table mare Banta's Dancer. Twins are rare, and it is rarer still for them to run, even rarer for one to be successful. Both Kaylasrocketdancer and Kyles Rocketdancer have trained at Fairplex Park, and their works are not as inspiring as their tale.

The twin horses are owned by their namesakes, twin humans Kayla and Kyle Williamson, and trained by Keith Craigmyle, who is seeking his first win of the meet.

Another youngster to watch in the opener is To B. Devon, who fetched $50,000 as a yearling in October and had the fastest quarter-mile work of the day here on March 7.

Race 2, worth $50,000, is led by River Glow, who is returning to a sprint, the same trip over which she earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95 in her debut win on Feb. 8. She came back just 20 days later and stretched out to a mile in a first-level allowance and ran poorly. Since then, she recorded a best-of-the-morning drill, just as she did prior to her debut.

- additional reporting

by Brad Free