02/25/2011 3:59PM

Walsh unsure what to expect from Dancing in Silks in Sensational Star

Benoit & Associates
Dancing in Silks will attempt to regain his old form in Sunday's Sensational Star.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Sunday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Handicap at Santa Anita may provide an answer in the career direction of Dancing in Silks, the upset winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Dancing in Silks is winless in his last five starts, and makes his first appearance for trainer Kathy Walsh in the Sensational Star, a race restricted to California-breds. The race is scheduled for about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course, but wet weather could force it to be run over 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track.

The uncertainty of the surface does not help Walsh determine her expectations.

“We’ll have to see what the weather is like,” Walsh said. “He’s never run on an off track. We’ll have to see what kind of off track it is.”

Owned by Ken Kinakin, Dancing in Silks has won 7 of 18 starts and $1,475,102. He earned $1,281,894 in 2009, a season highlighted by the 25-1 upset in the BC Sprint and a win in the California Cup Sprint.

Last year, Dancing in Silks earned $27,480. His best finish in five starts was a third in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap in January. He was sixth in an allowance race for statebreds over 6 1/2 furlongs on Dec. 30, his final start before Kinakin transferred the 6-year-old gelding from Carla Gaines to Walsh.

Walsh is reluctant to guess what Dancing in Silks can do in the Sensational Star, which drew a field of 10, led by Amazombie, the winner of the Sunshine Millions Sprint here on Jan. 29. Dancing in Silks will be ridden by Garrett Gomez on Sunday, a replacement for Joel Rosario. Dancing in Silks has worked three times since mid-January, including five furlongs in a quick 58.80 seconds on Feb. 5, the fastest of 65 recorded works at the distance that morning.

“He definitely went off form, like he lost interest,” Walsh said. “Hopefully, he’ll show us something. We’ll have to feel our way with him.”