09/23/2005 11:00PM

Very Vegas proven over course


It has been a while, but for Very Vegas the return to Fairplex may be just like riding a bike. A 4-year-old Storm Boot filly, Very Vegas returns to the track where she won her maiden two years ago. She has accomplished much since and looms the horse to beat in the $60,000 Bangles and Beads on Monday, part of a 12-race closing day card.

The Bangles and Beads is a 6 1/2-furlong event for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and upward, and drew a full field of 10 and two also-eligibles.

Trained by Marcelo Polanco for the Everest Stables, Very Vegas has 7 wins from 26 starts, good for nearly $313,000 in the bank. She has done it with speed, but has shown the versatility to win on both surfaces, routing and sprinting. Two years ago, Very Vegas came here off a decent showing at Del Mar, where she displayed plenty of speed but got weary late. Going about 4 1/2 furlongs here, Very Vegas jumped right out to the lead, but instead of folding, she extended her lead and won by more than seven lengths. Very Vegas has since gone on to a fine career, and that proven form over this track is not to be taken lightly.

David Cohen rides at 121 pounds and she breaks from post 10.

But a proven affinity for this track does not make Very Vegas a standout. That's because she must again deal with Awesome Lady, who beat Very Vegas in the Monterey Handicap going five furlongs on the turf Sept. 10 at Bay Meadows. Although that race came on turf, Awesome Lady may actually be more effective on the dirt, and that race was also her first in nearly four months, so she may be tougher and in better shape. It also doesn't hurt that Awesome Lady has won over this track, in an optional claimer last September. Martin Pedroza rides.

Summer Bay returns to sprinting on dirt after being claimed out of a turf route Sept. 7 at Del Mar by top trainer Doug O'Neill. She failed to fire in that turf route, but won her three previous outings, all dirt sprints. Felipe Martinez rides from the rail.

Two to Get Ready is another horse who has fared well here. Trained by Donald Warren, she has a win and two thirds from three career outings at Fairplex. Two to Get Ready most recently scored a rallying victory in the Pio Pico here over California-bred fillies and mares Sept. 16. She was dismissed as 42-1 that day but doesn't figure to be that kind of price here. Isaias Enriquez rides.