04/21/2008 12:00AM

Abrams stable peaking for new meet


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - With as many as five starters in lucrative stakes on Sunday, and a barn in outstanding form, trainer Barry Abrams cannot wait for the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting to start on Wednesday.

Abrams, 54, is on schedule to break personal records this year in purse earnings, with most of the success attributable to the progeny of Unusual Heat, a California-based stallion that he co-owns. At the Santa Anita meeting that ended on Sunday, Unusual Heat was the sire of 20 horses that won 26 races. Abrams saddled 13 of those winners.

"I think we have a better group coming in" to Hollywood Park, Abrams said. "I still have four that I haven't run."

Last year, Abrams's stable had his career high earnings of $1,941,897. Through Saturday, with less than four months of the season completed, the stable had earned $1,154,658, a figure that could grow substantially this week.

In Sunday's California Gold Rush Day for statebreds, Abrams will be busy. He starts Lightmyfirebaby in the $150,000 Fran's Valentine Stakes for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles on turf. Lightmyfirebaby has already won 3 of 6 starts this year, including the Irish O'Brien Stakes on March 17 and the Las Cienegas Handicap on April 13. In the Las Cienegas, she finished second but was promoted to first following the disqualification of Bahama Mama.

Medzendeekron, third in the Grade 2 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland earlier this month in his stakes debut, is a probable for the $150,000 Tiznow Stakes over 7 1/2 furlongs.

Abrams starts Spenditallbaby in the $150,000 B. Throughtful Stakes for fillies and mares over seven furlongs. Spenditallbaby is making her first start of the year after a 2007 season that included a win in the Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar.

In the $200,000 Melair Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles, Abrams has two candidates, Lethal Heat and Bel Air Sizzle. Lethal Heat is unbeaten in three starts, including the Grade 3 Santa Paula Stakes on March 30. Bel Air Sizzle was third in the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes earlier this month.

The group does not include the stable's potential runners in four $60,000 and $70,000 races for California-bred maidens and allowance horses. Abrams said he may skip those races for open company races that provide a bonus to statebreds, which in some cases would exceed Sunday's purses.

"I've got a whole bunch for the maidens, but if I run in the open maiden, I'll run for more money," he said.

Abrams will not run the best 3-year-old in his barn at Hollywood Park. That is the filly Golden Doc A, who won the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes in February and was later second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and Gradeo2 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland.

She will make her next start in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 2, pending a workout at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, Abrams said. The Kentucky Oaks will be her first start on a dirt track, after racing on synthetic surfaces earlier this year.

"If she works good, she'll run in the Oaks," Abrams said. "She belongs. She's been first or second in Grade 1 or Grade 2 races all year. It's a question of whether she can run on the dirt."

Unusual Heat leads California stallions in progeny earnings this year, with $1,835,069 through Saturday. Last year, Unusual Heat had progeny earnings of $3,542,981, leaving him fourth on the state's list.

Unusual Heat's progeny have thrived on California's synthetic tracks, but Abrams has no other theories why the stallion has been so successful.

"I don't know why," he said. "I'm a horse trainer. I know nothing about breeding. I'm excited. They'll do well at Hollywood."

Lava Man returns in Sunday's Khaled

The field for Sunday's Khaled Stakes, over 1 1/16 miles on turf, will include Lava Man, who has not started since finishing sixth in the California Cup Classic last October. A winner of seven Grade 1 races, Lava Man breezed a half-mile in 49.80 seconds on Sunday.

The richest race of the day is the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes for 3-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles. The nominations include Bob Black Jack, the runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby, who remains a candidate for the Kentucky Derby on May 3, according to trainer Jim Kasparoff.

Puglisi gets off schneid

Jockey Iggy Puglisi, who has battled knee injuries for the last two years, ended a 104-race losing streak when Princess Integrity ($61) pulled an upset in Sunday's sixth race.

Judging from the number of well-wishers who greeted Puglisi in the winner's circle and on the path back to the jockeys' room, all of Princess Integrity's backers were on hand. Puglisi, who turned 34 on April 15, was not able to take many steps toward the jockeys' room after the race without stopping to sign an autograph or accept congratulations from fans.

He turned down no one. The win aboard Princess Integrity was Puglisi's first since March 2005 at Bay Meadows. He returned from a knee injury last July, but did not have a good second half of 2007, going winless with 36 mounts. Princess Integrity was his 38th mount of this year.

"I've been riding slow horses," he said. "People might have thought, 'Maybe he's not the same rider.'"

Puglisi has never been a leading rider on this circuit, but has kept a presence in recent years as a regular racegoer and an expert commentator on the TVG network

"I like being at the racetrack," he said. "I'm just one of the guys."

Three hit $316K pick six

Three winning tickets paid $316,321.60 each in the pick six at Santa Anita on Sunday, which had a compulsory payoff on the final day of the meeting. The day began with a pick-six carryover of $178,359 from Saturday. Bettors added $1,390,337 to the pool on Sunday.

The winners of Sunday's pick-six races were Princess Integrity ($61), Silk Thunder ($8.80), Sacred Light ($34.40), Havens Lake ($5.80), Big Booster ($16), and Stormy Taters ($7).

While the pick six was well-bet on Sunday, Santa Anita did not have as much success with its $1 Super High Five on Saturday. The track guaranteed the pool would reach $200,000, but the pool reached only $185,655. The track made up the difference. The bet, which requires bettors to correctly select the first five finishers of the last race, was worth $5,665.70 to 28 ticketholders.