Updated on 09/16/2011 7:07AM

Vienna plays his second ace


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Darrell Vienna must have felt a little like Bobby Frankel heading into Sunday's $100,000 Miss America Handicap at Bay Meadows.

Frankel has been on a remarkable roll with his stakes runners (and did have three nominations to this race, although none will run).

Vienna, though, is holding the aces this time.

He nominated Grade 1 winner Janet and Queen of Wilshire to the race. Janet was the highweight among the nominees at 123 pounds with Queen of Wilshire listed second at 117.

Vienna listed Janet as a possible entrant but, after a long discussion with her owner, decided to pass the race because of fears of future weight assignments if she won the race. Instead, he will start Queen of Wilshire, who faces just five rivals.

"[Queen of Wilshire]'s always shown a lot of heart," Vienna said. "She gives you a good race every time."

The 6-year-old Queen of Wilshire has two seconds and a third in three turf starts this year and missed winning two stakes by a total of one length.

She set the pace and was beaten a neck by Blue Moon in the one-mile, Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap at Santa Anita on Feb. 18. She set the pace and finished third, beaten three-quarters of a length in the 6 1/2-furlong Winter Solstice Handicap on March 7.

Vienna had long wanted to run Queen of Wilshire on the turf, but she was running so well on the main track that he kept her there except for one troubled outing early in her career.

An injury sent Queen of Wilshire to the sidelines for 10 months, and Vienna entered her in an Oct. 4 turf race during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita for her comeback. She won the one-mile allowance race.

She then finished fifth, fading a bit late in the Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Queen of Wilshire may have some distance limitations, but Vienna is not worried about her ability to go eight furlongs.

"This race is well within her scope," he said.

The Longden Turf Course at Bay Meadows is not particularly speed friendly. Although she has set the pace in all three of her starts this year, Queen of Wilshire has won from off the pace in the past.

"Although you see her on the lead in her recent starts, she doesn't have to be on the lead," Vienna said. "She's just a fast runner."

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