05/26/2008 11:00PM

Big plans for Ginger Pop


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Ginger Pop has dropped hints that she could develop into a stakes-caliber filly later this year. She can prove it when she starts in Thursday's seventh race at Hollywood Park.

In her last two starts, Ginger Pop, 3, has won a maiden race on Santa Anita's hillside turf course in April and finished a game second, beaten a nose, in an optional claimer over a mile on turf here on May 11.

Thursday's race is an optional claimer over 1o1/16 miles on turf, and trainer Dan Hendricks expects a win. He was impressed by Ginger Pop's loss to Harmony Creator on May 11.

"She relaxed very well," he said. "She closed well and just missed winning the race. It was her first time going a route and she acted like we could have fun this summer."

Asked if he considered Thursday's race as a prep for the $100,000 Flawlessly Stakes over a mile on turf on July 4, Hendricks wisecracked that he had a different long-range plan.

"I'm not going to get too far ahead," he said. "I plan on winning the Del Mar Oaks."

Whether Ginger Pop reaches that Grade 1 race on Aug. 16 remains to be seen, but it does show Hendricks's confidence. Owned by Thor-Bred Stable, Ginger Pop has made just three starts. She made her debut in February, finishing sixth in a maiden race on the hillside turf course.

Ginger Pop's career was delayed because of minor injuries, Hendricks said.

"She jarred herself up behind," Hendricks said. "We gave her time to mature. We thought she'd be a 3-year-old route type."

At one point, she outworked the Hendricks-trained Beresford, who finished fourth in the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes.

"We thought we had a nice filly," he said.

Thursday's race has drawn a field of nine, five of whom are coming off a win - Accopela Choir, Be Glorious, Cape Diver, Mission Viejo Halo, and Snow Delicious.

Be Glorious, trained by Bobby Frankel, and Mission Viejo Halo, trained by Moon Han, won maiden special weight races in their last starts. The others won claiming races or starter allowance races.

Two starters are coming off stakes losses - Gypsy Baby, who was sixth in the Edgewood at Churchill Downs, and Dawn Before Dawn, who was seventh in the Senorita here.

Kazamira, who finished third in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes, will not start, trainer John Shirreffs said. She was diagnosed with filling in a pastern on Monday morning, Shirreffs said.