01/22/2009 12:00AM

Wild Promises earned her trip to Millions


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Greg Gilchrist sent Wild Promises east last month for Calder's Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap as a test run, to find out if she could perform as well outside the confines of Northern California and whether she deserved a return trip to Florida for Gulfstream Park's $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf.

Wild Promises passed her test with flying colors, leading throughout to register a one-length victory over a strong field in the My Charmer. As a result, she's back in town once again and figures to be a heavy favorite in what looks to be an even softer spot in Saturday's 1 1/8-mile Filly and Mare Turf.

"On paper, I don't see a Callwood Dancer or Rutherienne in this race, so I guess you can say it's a good spot for $500,000," Gilchrist said. "And one thing about running a filly like Wild Promises, when they've won 11 of 16 starts, you pretty much know they're going to give you their best every time."

Although Wild Promises won the My Charmer on the lead, she's anything but one dimensional, which makes her all the more dangerous in the Filly and Mare Turf.

"There's some other speed in this lineup, but it really doesn't concern me," Gilchrist said. "Her running style allows her to adapt to just about anything. She can lay second or third, it doesn't really make a difference to her. She relaxes about anywhere you put her. The only thing I can say for sure is that she won't get a long ways out of it."

Aaron Gryder, who teamed up with Wild Promises for the first time in the My Charmer, will have the return engagement Saturday.

Although a California invader, Wild Promises is one of seven Florida-breds in the eight-horse field for the Filly and Mare Turf. The lone Cal-bred in the lineup is Bel Air Sizzle, and she could be the one Wild Promises will have to beat to pick up the $300,000 first prize.

In contrast to Wild Promises, Bel Air Sizzle does her best running from far back, a style that makes her vulnerable to a slow pace or traffic difficulties but carried her to a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and Grade 2 placings on two other occasions last year at 3. She will be reunited with jockey Chantal Sutherland for the first time since the pair teamed up to finish third in the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes last spring at Santa Anita.

Zee Zee, another multiple-stakes-placed filly, will make her first start since being transferred to trainer Rick Dutrow's barn following the conclusion of her 3-year-old campaign. Zee Zee's best effort last season was a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga.

Elusive Lady figures to move forward off her turf debut here earlier this month. Elusive Lady was a Grade 3 winner at 2 but started just three times as a 3-year-old in 2008.