Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quisisana looks enticing off comeback


DEL MAR, Calif. - Quisisana's comeback race, a third-place finish in the Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar on July 20, left trainer Mike Puype encouraged about the filly's future.

The Fleet Treat was Quisisana's first start since she won an $80,000 claiming race for maidens at Hollywood Park last December. The Fleet Treat was restricted to California-bred 3-year-old fillies, and Quisisana and was beaten 2 1/2 lengths by the graded stakes winner Lethal Heat.

The performance will make Quisisana the favorite to win an optional claimer for statebred females over 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Wednesday. Quisisana is part of a field of 10 fillies and mares.

"I offer no excuses," Puype said. "She should be ready to run. It's a good spot."

The Fleet Treat has turned out to be a productive race. Race winner Lethal Heat returned to beat males in the Real Good Deal Stakes on Aug. 8 and finish third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 16. Earlier this year she won the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks and Grade 3 Santa Paula.

In the Fleet Treat Stakes, Quisisana led to the final furlong before fading late.

"She ran a good race to Lethal Heat coming off a layoff," Puype said. "She's trained well and trained forwardly. She didn't have a lot of long works going into that race."

Owned by Ran Jan Racing, Quisisana is expected to have the early lead in Monday's race. She used that style to win the maiden claimer in her debut. Puype said that Quisisana did not have a major injury after her debut.

"She needed a little time, no surgeries," he said.

None of the other runners in Monday's field is stakes-placed this year.

Unusual Heather will be making her first start against winners, having beaten maidens in her debut in a six-furlong race for statebred females on July 16.

Also in the race is Unusual Spirit. Trained by Jerry Fanning, Unusual Spirit was off from late March until July 21, when she finished second to Synnin and Grinnin in an optional claimer for statebred females over five furlongs on turf. Unusual Spirit closed from sixth to lose that race by 1 1/4 lengths.

"She was a little short for it, I think," Fanning said. "She flew the last part. The winner got away from her a little bit."

Synnin and Grinnin returned to win another turf sprint. Fanning said Unusual Spirit battled a throat infection in recent weeks, but has improved.

"I had to clear that up," he said. "She's doing well now."

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