03/14/2008 11:00PM

Bachelorette One back a year later


ARCADIA, Calif. - The water in the fountains will be green, corned beef and cabbage will be a popular menu item, and Bachelorette One will run in the $125,000 Irish O'Brien Stakes. Yes, it must be St. Patrick's Day at Santa Anita.

When Bachelorette One was last seen, it was March 17, 2007, and she finished second in the Irish O'Brien to River's Prayer. Exactly one year later, on Monday, she returns to action in what has become the traditional St. Patrick's Day feature at Santa Anita.

"Isn't that funny the way it worked out?" said John Sadler, who trains Bachelorette One.

The Irish O'Brien, scheduled for

6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course, is for older California-bred fillies and mares and is named for the popular mare who was a terror on that course in the 1980s. This year's race drew 11 runners, including Rockella, who was second in the Wishing Well Stakes over this course on Feb. 10.

According to Sadler, Bachelorette One fractured a cannon bone in a workout at Hollywood Park not long after last year's Irish O'Brien. She had surgery, which required the insertion of screws to aid the healing. The screws have since been removed. The lengthy layoff will be of more immediate concern to handicappers on Monday, because most of the other leading contenders have recent races.

There was a forecast for rain in this area on Saturday night into Sunday. If the Irish O'Brien is forced to the main track Monday, Sadler said Bachelorette One would "probably stay in the race."

"She hasn't run in a year," he said. "She needs to run."

Rockella has the best recent race over the course. She finished quickly while in traffic late to be second in the Wishing Well, her first start following a brief freshening. The Wishing Well was against open company, so Rockella benefits by now racing in a race restricted to statebreds.

Swiss Diva comes off a win over a second-level allowance field on this course Feb. 15. It was the first time she had ever raced on the downhill course. If the race is forced to the main track, Swiss Diva would be a strong factor, having finished first or second in 3 of 4 starts sprinting on synthetic surfaces.

Comedy Girl was third, only three-quarters of a length behind Swiss Diva, in that Feb. 15 race.

The hard-knocking Udriga is exiting claimers, but her sharp recent form could offset this class hike. She has won 10 times in 27 starts, including her last race on Feb. 22.

Cathrine's Hope will be a factor if she can return to the form that carried her to a victory on the hillside course last fall.