04/11/2008 12:00AM

Wake Up Maggie owns great credentials


ARCADIA, Calif. - Considering what she has accomplished in the last three years, Wake Up Maggie, the new girl in the female turf division in California, deserves to be favored in Sunday's $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap at Santa Anita.

A 5-year-old mare, Wake Up Maggie has won sprint stakes in Ireland and England, amassed more than $470,000 in earnings, and has repeatedly worked fast on Santa Anita's turf course in recent weeks.

No wonder trainer Julio Canani is excited about her United States debut in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas, run over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course.

"She's training good since I got her and I think she's ready to run," Canani said. "I've worked her by herself all the time and she breezes. She acts like she's a nice filly."

Wake Up Maggie has won 4 of 15 starts, including three stakes.

The Las Cienegas will be Wake Up Maggie's 14th consecutive stakes appearance, a span that started with a victory in the six-furlong Tattersalls Ireland Sales Stakes in August 2005, which drew a field of 26 and was worth approximately $382,000.

Canani is hoping Wake Up Maggie can extend her speed in longer races this summer.

"I want to see if she can go a mile later," he said. "This is a good race to start."

Wake Up Maggie, the 119-pound topweight, is not the only European invader in the 12-horse field. Bahama Mama, the winner of three sprint stakes in Germany last year, makes her first start for trainer Jim Cassidy.

The field includes two hillside stakes winners from this meeting - Lightmyfirebaby, who won the Irish O'Brien Handicap for statebreds on March 17, and Ingrid the Gambler, the winner of the Wishing Well Handicap in February.

Lightmyfirebaby returned to finish second in the Valentine Dancer Handicap over a mile on turf last Sunday. Trainer Barry Abrams has a history of running horses after short breaks.

Ingrid the Gambler has not started since the Wishing Well. She usually runs near the front, and trainer Tim Yakteen is hopeful she can run just behind the leaders for the first half of the Las Cienegas. Joe Talamo will ride.