Blind Luck works sharp for El Encino

ARCADIA, Calif. -- One day after being named a finalist for champion 3-year-old filly of 2010, Blind Luck moved a step closer to her 2011 debut by working a sharp seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Friday morning. What was more impressive, though, was the gallop out. The relentless mighty mite went out another seven furlongs, coming around to the furlong pole, before finally stopping.

"We think we have her ready. She should be plenty fit now," Jerry Hollendorfer, her trainer and co-owner, said in what, seven days into the year, ranks as the understatement of 2011.

Blind Luck, last year's Kentucky Oaks winner, is set to race next Sunday in the Grade 2, $150,000 El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. It will be her first start since finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic two months ago. On Friday, Blind Luck was timed in 1:25.20 for seven furlongs with exercise rider Marco Ramirez. Hollendorfer had her final furlong in less than 12 seconds, and he had her going out a mile, to the seven-eighths pole, in 1:39.

Rather than stop, though, Blind Luck just kept going, galloping down the backstretch, through the far turn, and into the stretch. For a slightly built filly, she has loads of energy.

"Hopefully, she's all set to go now," Hollendorfer said. "Maybe she'll have a little blowout before the race."

Hollendorfer will saddle Blind Luck in the El Encino, then early the following morning will catch a plane to Florida to attend that night's Eclipse Awards ceremony, at which Blind Luck will be the heavy favorite to be named champion of her division. The other finalists for champion 3-year-old filly are Evening Jewel and Havre de Grace

Sunshine Millions for Evening Jewel

Evening Jewel's trainer, Jim Cassidy, said she came out of her disappointing effort in last weekend's Monrovia Stakes in good order and would be pointed to the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff going 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Jan. 29.

"I wasn't all that shocked or surprised," Cassidy said Friday. "She just didn't seem to have her head in it. We'll try to get her up for the Sunshine Millions."

Cassidy's other stable star, The Usual Q.T., is pointing for the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Turf here Jan. 29 at 1 1/8 miles on grass.