11/23/2006 12:00AM

Another close one in store?


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Last month's Morvich Handicap was such a good race that they're running it again - sort of. The first five finishers in the Morvich were separated by less than two lengths, and four of those runners are back Saturday for the Grade 3, $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express at Hollywood Park, including the upset winner, Moth Ball.

Four others are in the six-furlong race, most notably In Summation, who comes off a second-place finish behind Fast Parade in the Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine.

Fast Parade would have been the highweight in the Turf Express, but his connections opted to pass the race and point for next month's Hong Kong Sprint. In Summation, 3, chased home Fast Parade in a sharp effort. It was In Summation's first race against older horses, his second race on turf, and his second race since being transferred to trainer Christophe Clement.

"He improved off his first race and ran a really good race in the Nearctic at Woodbine," Clement said Thursday morning from his winter base at Payson Park in Florida. "This race is 3-year-old against older, same as the other day. But his last race was six furlongs on soft, and this will be six furlongs on firm, so there's a bit of a difference."

In Summation was one of the top 2-year-olds in Florida last year. After winning his first five races, he has now lost seven straight, but his last two outings were significant improvements over his races earlier this year.

Moth Ball scored a 33-1 surprise in the Morvich, beating Turf Express rivals Osidy, Jungle Prince, and Houseofroyalhearts. The victory was his first since he arrived from Great Britain two years ago and began his local career with a pratfall: Moth Ball flipped in the gate for the Generous Stakes. He was so unruly that he was later gelded. And then last year, he fractured a hind leg.

"We've had a lot to overcome," said trainer Jim Cassidy on Thursday morning. "After he flipped in the gate, and before we cut him, he tried to breed me and the groom. He's been a tough customer."

That tenaciousness was channeled the right way in the Morvich, though, and Moth Ball prevailed in a blanket finish.

"He's the toughest horse I've been around," Cassidy said. "There's no bottom to him. Once he had the lead, he wasn't going to let anyone by him."

Osidy, who was third in the Morvich, is the 118-pound highweight. He has finished in the money in three straight turf sprints at Del Mar and Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

Sherwood Park makes just his sixth start Saturday. He returned from a 7 1/2-month layoff to win a downhill turf sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 15 and appears to have plenty of upside.

Lazzeri has been absent since January, but has a history of running well fresh and in turf sprints.