Specialist Cambiocorsa Heads Las Cienegas

Seeking her first graded stakes victory, Cambiocorsa will attempt to stretch her unbeaten streak over the Santa Anita hillside turf course to seven in Easter Sunday's $100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT) for older fillies and mares.

Trained by Doug O'Neill for Leatherman Racing, Cambiocorsa, a 4-year-old gray filly, has become an absolute terror over the unique winding layout. In five starts elsewhere, she has never been better than third.

The California-bred daughter of Avenue of Flags will carry high weight of 120 pounds among 12 fillies and mares in the about 6 1/2-furlong Las Cienegas. Jon Court, who has been aboard for four of her wins, will accompany her.

Cambiocorsa's success on the hillside is underscored by her front-running style, usually a detriment. "That's what is so exciting about her," noted Dennis O'Neill, the trainer's brother and stable associate, "and she's just getting better and better."

Her most lucrative victory was her last, the $134,000 Irish O'Brien March 17. Cambiocorsa has earned $292,955 from a 6-0-2 mark in 11 starts.

Pussycat Doll, who won the La Brea (gr. I) by 5 ¾ lengths Dec. 31 while running seven furlongs in 1:21.36 over a track labeled "wet fast," is her most formidable rival. Pussycat Doll, however, subsequently faded to fourth in the La Canada Stakes (gr. II) as the 3-5 favorite, and the Las Cienegas will be her first start on grass.

Trained by Bob Baffert for owner/breeder Mike Pegram, Pussycat Doll is a 4-year-old daughter of 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) winner Real Quiet. She has earned $332,823 from a 4-1-1 record in 9 starts. Two of her wins were achieved on off tracks.

Trainer Gary Stute entered both Awesome Lady and Da Svedonya.

Awesome Lady has won minor stakes races on both grass and dirt. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Bianconi, she won the Monterey Handicap at Bay Meadows on turf, and the Monrovia Handicap on a wet/fast surface when it was moved from turf to dirt. She faded to eighth and last in the 1 1/8-mile Santa Margarita Handicap (gr. I) in her most recent race March 11.

"You can't hit a home run if you don't go to the plate," Stute said of the venture. "Unfortunately, I struck out." Awesome Lady has a 7-4-2 record from 31 starts, with earnings of $306,158.

Da Svedonya, a late-running 6-year-old California-bred mare by Lil Tyler, has run six times at the current meet, with one win, three seconds, and two fourth-place finishes.

$100,000 Las Cienegas Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 3:30 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Danclare (KY), 113, David Flores
2. Maryfield (ON), 114, Victor Espinoza
3. Freakin Streakin (FL), 116, Corey Nakatani
4. Starkay (NZ), 114, Patrick Valenzuela
5. Awesome Lady (KY), 114, Tyler Baze
6. Da Svedonya (CA), 113, Aaron Gryder
7. Pussycat Doll (KY), 119, Garrett Gomez
8. Fiorino of Sydney (NZ), 112, Juan Ochoa
9. Sandra's Rose (KY), 114, Martin Pedroza
10. Lock And Key (IRE), 113, Alex Solis
11. Mystic Chant (KY), 112, David Cohen
12. Cambiocorsa (CA), 120, Jon Court