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BREEDERS' CUP SPRINT CHAMP DANCING IN SILKS SET TO MAKE 2010 DEBUT IN SATURDAY'S GR. II PALOS VERDES HANDICAP
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 22) – Dancing in Silks, trainer Carla Gaines’ 5-year-old gelding whose dizzying run of four straight victories last year was capped by a 25-1 stunner in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 7, returns to action Saturday in Santa Anita’s 58th running of the Grade II, $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap at six furlongs.
Immediately after the nose victory by Dancing in Silks in the Breeders’ Cup event, Gaines cited such respected opponents as Zensational and Gayego. “It looked like a tough situation for us,” she said. “The way the post positions set up, we were able to sit off the pace and make one run. The racing gods were smiling on us today.”
Installed by line maker Jon White as the 6-5 morning line favorite, California-bred Dancing in Silks will be taking on seven rivals including the Doug O’Neill-conditioned Supreme Summit, who comes off a fourth place finish in the Gr. I Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs on Dec. 26. Supreme Summit is the 9-2 second choice on the morning line.
Dancing in Silks, with Joel Rosario back aboard, drew the rail and will carry high weight of 123 pounds. Although winless from two starts from the rail, Dancing in Silks ran well from the inside on both occasions—finishing second in the seven furlong Damascus Stakes at Oak Tree in 2008, and third, beaten one half length, in the seven furlong Real Good Deal at Del Mar in August of 2008.
Owned by Ken Kinakin, Dancing in Silks registered his first graded stakes victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He was coming off wins in Oak Tree’s $100,000 California Cup Sprint Handicap and Del Mar’s $112,000 Pirate’s Bounty Stakes, both restricted to state-breds.
A son of Black Minnaloushe bred by Ronald E. Jex, Dancing in Silks comes into the Palos Verdes with earnings of $1,447,622 from a career record of 7-2-2 in 13 races.
Zayat Stables’ Eaton’s Gift has shipped in from the East to take on the two well-proven runners over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface. The 5-year-old son of Johannesburg held off 1-2 favored Benny the Bull to take the Grade II, $350,000 Smile Sprint Handicap by 1 ½ lengths at Calder Race Course last July. He won the Grade II Swale Stakes in 2008 at Gulfstream Park. Eaton’s Gift is 6-1 on the morning line.
Eaton’s Gift, who has joined the Mike Mitchell barn in California, will be ridden by Tyler Baze and carry 117 pounds. The speedster has banked $471,715 from a record of 5-0-2 in 13 races. He is 1-for-4 over synthetic surfaces.
The complete field for the Palos Verdes Handicap with jockeys and weights in post position order: Dancing in Silks, Joel Rosario, 123; Ez Dreamer, Alex Solis, 116; Paul’s Hope, Victor Espinoza, 115; Eaton’s Gift, Tyler Baze, 117; Quietly Mine, Garrett Gomez, 113; Supreme Summit, Rafael Bejarano, 114; Kinsale King, Martin Garcia, 116, and Ventana, Joseph Talamo, 113.
The Palos Verdes Handicap will be contested as the eighth race on a nine-race program with first post at 12:30 p.m.