11/24/2005 12:00AM

'Bartok': Queen for a day?


PHOENIX - Beneficial Bartok has spent all her time in Southern California and the vast majority of it chasing some very tough turf fillies and mares. She finds a chance to take the spotlight Saturday in the $40,000 Queen of the Green at Turf Paradise. A 4-year-old filly, Beneficial Bartok heads a field of nine in Saturday's mile turf event.

Owned by 5C Racing and trained by Jorge Gutierrez, Beneficial Bartok has 4 wins from 23 starts for earnings of nearly $250,000. Three of her wins came in allowance races routing on the turf in Southern California, and she's done herself proud in a number of stakes events as well. She was a close fifth in the Swingtime at Oak Tree Oct. 7, then came back and rallied strongly for second in the California Cup Distaff at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course there Nov. 6. Beneficial Bartok, a daughter of Bartok, routinely goes off at juicy odds in Southern California. That doesn't figure to be the case here. David Cohen, her regular rider the past year, keeps the mount.

Her main opposition may come from another Southern California invader, Free Rent. Though not quite as proven as Beneficial Bartok, Free Rent comes here razor sharp. After a late-summer vacation she came back to romp over $25,000 claimers on the dirt at Oak Tree. She was claimed that day by trainer Mike Mitchell and promptly stepped up to beat $32,000 claimers on the dirt at Hollywood Park. She was claimed that day by trainer Peter Pizzurro, and makes her first start for him Saturday. Free Rent has run well on turf, and it's encouraging that she steps up to a spot where she can't be claimed away. Steve Gomez rides.

Moonlight Cruise, trained by Gary Mandella, was a closing sixth, beaten less than two lengths, in the Miss America at Golden Gate Oct. 30 last time out. Prior to that she finished behind Beneficial Bartok in the Swingtime. Isiais Enriquez comes in for the mount.

Peace Symbol invades from the Midwest. Peace Symbol has won twice on the turf at Sam Houston this season. She comes off a pair of fourths at a mile on the turf at Remington Park. Wilson Dieguez rides.