12/10/2004 1:00AM

'Adventure' continues

A.P. Adventure, winning the Las Virgenes, took seven months off after the Kentucky Oaks.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A.P. Adventure came a long way in a short amount of time, going from an unstarted maiden to the undefeated winner of a Grade 1 race in three starts in 3 1/2 months last winter. It takes a special filly to do that, which is why trainer Wally Dollase decided to leave well enough alone and not push forward after A.P. Adventure tailed off in the Kentucky Oaks.

It has been seven months since she was last seen, but the time off seems to have done A.P. Adventure much good. She has trained sensationally for her comeback, and her imposing figure has filled out in all the right places.

"I've never seen her so good," Dollase said Friday morning, two days before A.P. Adventure's return to action in the Grade 2, $150,000 at Hollywood Park. "She's been working well. Quite emphatically. She's put a lot of weight on. When you see her in the paddock on Sunday, you will see a good-looking animal."

The Bayakoa, a 1 1/16-mile race that drew a field of eight, is designed to get A.P. Adventure on the path toward glory this winter at Santa Anita, where races such as the La Canada Series for newly turned 4-year-old fillies, plus the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap, await. She has turned in a spectacular series of workouts, so she should be ready to fire off the bench. She won her debut last year, too.

"She should run a good race," Dollase said. "She's a class act. Talk about intelligence - she's way above average."

A.P. Adventure showed that from the start last year. She won first time out by five lengths going a mile at Santa Anita, then scored victories in the Santa Ysabel Stakes and Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita. A big, lumbering filly, she was unable to quicken when facing the likes of Silent Sighs and Halfbridled in the Santa Anita Oaks. And she never got untracked on a sloppy track in the Kentucky Oaks, in which she finished sixth.

"After the trip to Kentucky and the sloppy track, she just needed a vacation," Dollase said.

A.P. Adventure drew the rail. Another 3-year-old filly, Hollywood Story, landed the far outside post. She finished right behind A.P. Adventure in the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks last winter. After a lengthy vacation during the summer, Hollywood Story made her comeback in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, and beat one horse.

The Bayakoa is a more suitable spot. Hollywood Story also is returning to her favorite track. She trains at Hollywood Park year-round, and her lone victory came in last year's Hollywood Starlet.

Royally Chosen was a sharp winner of the Cat's Cradle here last month. Miss Loren was an upset winner of Del Mar's Clement Hirsch Handicap last summer. Essence will seek to give trainer Todd Pletcher his third stakes victory at this meet.