04/24/2008 11:00PM

Bel Air Sizzle eyes 2nd win in 72 hours


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Less than 72 hours after Bel Air Sizzle scored a convincing win in an allowance race at Hollywood Park, the filly will attempt to win her first stakes in Sunday's $200,000 Melair Stakes.

Two races in a span of three days was not the intention of trainer Barry Abrams or the partnership that owns the highly promising filly.

When entries were drawn on Thursday for the Melair, Abrams intended to enter the undefeated Lethal Heat. But somehow, through confusion in the racing office, or a mistake by Abrams, Bel Air Sizzle's name wound up among the eight 3-year-old fillies entered in the stakes for California-breds.

Compounding the problem was Bel Air Sizzle's presence as a heavy favorite in Thursday's fifth race, which she won by 2 3/4 lengths with little difficulty. Abrams was furious early Thursday afternoon when he realized that Lethal Heat was not entered for the Melair, but he cooled down quickly after Bel Air Sizzle's win.

Friday morning, Abrams said Bel Air Sizzle emerged from the Thursday win in fine condition. He expected her to be physically able to start on such short rest.

"She came out of the race in good shape," Abrams said. "As long as she stays like this, she'll run on Sunday. I gave her a day off today. If she's eating everything and feeling good, I'll run her.

"Maybe it's meant to be."

Owned by breeders Madeline Auerbach, Vincenzo Loverso and David Abrams, Bel Air Sizzle has developed rapidly this year after a poor start to her career in which she failed to finish in the top three in her first four starts.

Abrams said Bel Air Sizzle was rank at times early in her career, but has been more settled since he gave her a few months off during the winter.

"We got her mind right," he said. "She's come back to be what I thought she'd be."

Bel Air Sizzle has thrived with frequent racing this year. She beat maidens in her fifth career start on March 16, won an allowance race for California-breds on March 27, and finished third in the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes in her stakes debut on April 5.

The Melair, which is run over 1 1/16 miles, will be her first start on the synthetic main track since a fourth in her career debut at Santa Anita last October.

If the quick turnaround takes its toll, Bel Air Sizzle may have difficulty beating Final Fling, who is trained by Jeff Mullins for Michael House.

Final Fling is the only graded stakes winner in the field, having won the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes over 1 1/16 miles in her stakes debut at Santa Anita in January. She returned to finish third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks on March 8, leading to the eighth pole before fading to finish 3 3/4 lengths behind Ariege.

"She should have run a lot better but she got trapped down on the rail and that wasn't the best place to be," Mullins said. "She's doing fine. You can do with her whatever you want."