08/02/2006 11:00PM

Untouched Talent in off stakes win


DEL MAR, Calif. - The experience that Untouched Talent gained by winning the Juan Gonzalez Stakes in her debut last month will play a vital role in Saturday's $150,000 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar.

She broke from the rail in that five-furlong race at Pleasanton, led throughout, and won easily. It was a performance expected from a filly bought for $500,000 at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training.

For her second start, will need to draw on that experience when she breaks from the rail in the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Trainer Jeff Bonde believes that Untouched Talent has the ability to win Saturday's more prestigious race.

"She's just kind of a real runner, I think," Bonde said. "She's not big, but she's a great mover. She seems to always have something left in her works."

Bonde said that Untouched Talent did not start in a conventional maiden race because only one was offered for 2-year-old fillies during the Alameda County Fair meeting at Pleasanton. He had four fillies who were eligible, and opted to start the more promising Untouched Talent in a short field in the Gonzalez.

"She pretty much dominated those horses, and it was an effortless race for her," Bonde said.

A Storm Cat filly, Untouched Talent is the only stakes winner in the Sorrento, which drew seven entrants. Two other fillies have stakes experience. Shawklit Sundae finished fourth in the Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 1 but was disqualified and placed fifth. Smart n'Quiet has been unplaced in three stakes at Hollywood Park and here.

were impressive maiden winners on dirt at Hollywood Park. Two fillies - Hello Bolly and Shes Got Skills - beat maidens on turf at Hollywood Park.

Outofthepast won her second start by two lengths at 5 1/2 furlongs on July 2. Company Secret won her second start by 1 1/4 lengths in a six-furlong race on July 16. In that race, Company Secret was ridden by apprentice jockey Saul Arias, but he has been replaced by Alex Solis for the Sorrento. Company Secret's trainer, Christopher Paasch, said he would use apprentice riders "in regular races, but not in stakes."

Company Secret drew post 2 and may contend for the early lead with Untouched Talent.