12/27/2006 12:00AM

Ascending Double Major makes stakes debut


ARCADIA, Calif. - The 2-year-old Double Major has changed remarkably since she won her initial start in November, trainer Clifford Sise says.

"She's just blossomed," Sise said.

He is banking on that helping the filly win her stakes debut in Friday's $125,000 California Breeders Champion Stakes at Santa Anita.

Sise trains Double Major for breeders Marty and Pam Wygod. He also trains the filly's older full siblings - the maiden Common Truth, 3, and Common Trust, a 4-year-old who has earned $110,560.

Double Major, he said, "was the ugly ducking" of the group.

"Now she's the pretty one," he added.

Double Major led or disputed the lead throughout in her debut in a six-furlong maiden race for California-bred fillies at Hollywood Park on Nov. 18. She led by 2 1/2 lengths in the stretch and won by 1 3/4 lengths over Saracina, who won her next start.

Sise thinks that Double Major will be better if she can rate off the pace, but she is unlikely to try that tactic in the Champion Stakes, run over seven furlongs for statebred 2-year-old fillies. Double Major has drawn post 3 in a field of 11.

"I'd rather be outside because I don't want to use her that much early," Sise said. "She'd be better if she can sit."

The California Breeders Champion Stakes drew one stakes winner - Prenuptial, the upset victor of the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar in August. Trained by Ben Cecil, Prenuptial struggled in two subsequent starts, finishing sixth in the Cover Gal Stakes and seventh in the California Cup Juvenile Fillies, both at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting. Prenuptial is a closer and likely will not be a factor early.

Double Major could face early pressure from Boracay Chic and Sego Lily.

Boracay Chic beat maidens at Oak Tree by two lengths as a heavy favorite on Oct. 27 and returned to finish a game second in an allowance race over seven furlongs at Hollywood Park on Nov. 22. She disputed the lead in both races.

Sego Lily was third in the Anoakia Stakes over six furlongs at Oak Tree on Oct. 21, her only stakes appearance in three starts. Trained by Keith Bennett, Sego Lily was second in an allowance race at Bay Meadows on Nov. 22, but was placed to sixth for interference.

Swiss Rose should show speed from the rail. Second in the Generous Portion, she was third behind Boracay Chic on Nov. 22.