Madame Pietra, a 6-year-old mare who has quietly developed into one of the better female sprinters in the nation, seeks her fourth straight stakes victory in the $100,000-added Desert Stormer Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs on Saturday.She's the the 121-pound highweight in a likely field of seven. "She was pretty tired after she won her last race in the Sunshine Millions (January 25 at Gulfstream Park), so we gave her some time for freshening," said trainer Howie Zucker. "The goal was to move her into some graded competition when she came back, and she's run well fresh before."
Madame Pietra, who won the Cascapedia Handicap at Santa Anita and the Corona Handicap here before the Florida victory, seeks her first graded stakes triumph in the Grade III Desert Stormer. The Florida-bred mare has won six of 15 starts and earned $373,135 for owner Carl Grether.Probables are: Madame Pietra, Patrick Valenzuela, 121; Cee's Elegance, Victor Espinoza, 120; Bear Fan, Curt Bourque, 116; Jetinto Houston, Mike Smith, 116; Palmarola, Alex Solis, 116; Wild Tickle, Tyler Baze, 116, and Cee's Valley Girl, no rider, 113.