08/14/2006 11:00PM

'Aleyna' comes off scary trip

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Fantastic Spain, a 6-year-old, has made only nine starts but won his last two, at Hollywood Park (above) and Santa Anita.

DEL MAR, Calif. - When reviewers gather to critique the most terrifying pictures of the summer of 2006, the debate could be between "Snakes on a Plane" and We All Love Aleyna's trip in the Wickerr Handicap at Del Mar on July 29.

Go ahead and watch it, if you dare.

was in a box the whole race, then got sawed off at the furlong pole when attempting a last-gasp bid for daylight. He wound up sixth of eight, but might have been right there with any luck.

His trainer, Bob Hess Jr., is hoping the sequel is much more pleasant. We All Love Aleyna returns to action on Thursday in the $85,000 Harry F. Brubaker Handicap, at 1 1/16 miles for older turf horses.

The Wickerr was the first start for We All Love Aleyna under Hess's care. He acquired the 5-year-old gelding privately, after We All Love Aleyna was claimed for $80,000 by trainer Mike Mitchell from a victory at Hollywood Park on June 4. But in the Wickerr, "he was screwed from the get-go," Hess said.

"It was no one's fault," Hess said, "but it was brutal. That's turf racing in California. Everyone wants cover, cover, cover, and then you quicken. He never could get out."

Hess held jockey Martin Pedroza blameless, and gave him a return call on We All Love Aleyna, who has won twice in five starts on the Del Mar turf.

"Marty should have a much better horse this time, too," Hess said. "We've gotten to know the horse better, and I think we've done our job better. And hopefully he'll get a good trip."

The Brubaker drew seven other runners, including the stakes-class Fast and Furious, and recent allowance winners Fantastic Spain and Warrior Song.

Fast and Furious finished last in the Eddie Read Handicap in his last start. This is an easier spot, but he has never finished in the money in three starts on the Del Mar turf.

is not seen often, but he has performed well in both his starts this year, winning at both Santa Anita and Hollywood Park. Fantastic Spain is 6, yet this will be just his 10th start.

"We've had some issues with his feet," said Neil Drysdale, who took over as the trainer of Fantastic Spain this year. "We need to space his races out. He's talented."

comes off a front-running victory over this course in his first start in five months.

New Export finished third to Warrior Song when favored last out.