07/07/2009 11:00PM

Vegas Wedding finally gets to run on turf


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The brief 2-year-old campaign by Vegas Wedding last year consisted of one outstanding race and one best forgotten.

She debuted with a win in a maiden race at Saratoga and then finished last in the Grade 2 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park a month later.

Nearly 10 months later, she resumes racing, this time in California and this time on turf, which was trainer Lisa Lewis's intention from the start. The Saratoga maiden race was taken off turf. There is virtually no chance that a $48,000 allowance race at Hollywood Park on Friday evening will be taken off turf.

"I'm looking forward to running her," Lewis said. "She's come back and she's training very well. She's grown and matured. I thought this was a good place to come back."

Owned by the North Shore Racing partnership, Vegas Wedding has worked steadily on the main track at Santa Anita in recent weeks, but did work on turf at Saratoga last summer.

She was off over the winter because of illness, and not injury, Lewis said.

"She got sick and then she had a lot of time off for that," she said. "She's been back in training a good three months."

The Matron Stakes performance has been forgotten.

"The whole race, it wasn't her trip," Lewis said. "She got checked early. It was a throw-out."

Friday's six-furlong allowance race drew 12 fillies and mares; Vegas Wedding starts from the rail. She faces the recent maiden winner Annihilation, well-regarded by trainer Dan Hendricks; the New Zealand import Allaboutimage, who has not raced since January; and Unworldly Heat, who unseated jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. while leading a turf sprint on May 21.

Unworldly Heat appeared on her way to victory when she ducked to the inside and lost Valdivia. Friday, Unworldly Heat will be ridden by Tyler Baze, and is expected to set the pace.

Glisten, who raced in Ireland last year, makes her first start in the United States and first start against fillies and mares.

Trained by Bob Hess Jr., Glisten was third in the Golden Fleece Stakes at seven furlongs in July 2008 and has not started since.

"She needs to run farther," Hess said. "This isn't our goal, but we're trying to win. I'm hoping to have a great Del Mar and a great fall with her. We have high hopes."