03/03/2011 5:47PM

Unzip Me appears formidable in Clocker's Corner

Benoit & Associates
Unzip Me has been flawless racing in turf sprints against fillies and mares.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Unzip Me’s near-perfect record on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita makes her a strong favorite in Saturday’s $75,000 Clocker’s Corner Handicap over about 6 1/2 furlongs.

Unzip Me has won 4 of 5 starts on the surface, and her last four races, including the Grade 3 Monrovia Stakes on Jan. 2. About the only thing that could get in the way of her extending that record is the outstanding form of Reba Is Tops, who was third in the Monrovia but rebounded to win two subsequent starts.

Reba Is Tops won an optional claimer on Jan. 21 and the Wishing Well Stakes on Jan. 30, a race that was supposed to be her final start before being sent to Kentucky to be bred to the stallion Broken Vow. A few weeks after that race, trainer Mark Glatt and the partnership which owns Reba Is Tops reversed their decision and decided to keep her in training for Saturday’s race.

A date with Broken Vow is still likely this year for Reba Is Tops, and could happen sooner rather than later if Unzip Me beats Reba Is Tops in the Clocker’s Corner. A win by Reba Is Tops on Saturday could extend her career until the $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap on April 9.

“I guess it comes down if she can’t beat Unzip Me this time than she can’t beat Unzip Me in the Las Cienegas,” Glatt said. “We’ve got to consider the pros and cons.”

Unzip Me was entered for the Valentine Dancer Handicap for statebred females last Saturday but did not start when the race was shifted to the main track because of wet weather.

“We’ll stick with what we know,” trainer Marty Jones said of a start in a turf sprint.

Unzip Me has won her last eight starts against female sprinters on turf, a streak that began in late December 2009 and includes six stakes wins. Her only losses during that span were against males – a third in the Robert Kerlan Handicap at Hollywood Park in July and a third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs in November.

Unzip Me tends to run near the front, and Glatt is banking on his main rival being occupied in a speed duel by Well Deserved, who was third in the Wishing Well. Such a scenario would help Reba Is Tops’s chances of coming from off the pace.

Reba Is Tops was last of nine for the first half of the Wishing Well and closed brilliant to win by 2 1/4 lengths.

“She’s better if there is a duel,” Glatt said. “She can wait and run the last part.”