11/19/2002 12:00AM

Bush Triumph keeps climbing ladder

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - What do you do with a 4-year-old turf filly who was 0 for 8 and running out of chances?

"I thought I had a good $40,000 or $50,000 filly on turf, but I needed to break her maiden to get her on grass," said trainer Mike Mitchell. It was a problem with a simple solution.

Mitchell ran Bush Triumph in a dreadful field of $25,000 maiden claimers. She won by 3 1/2 lengths, and gained much-needed confidence. By the time Bush Triumph was ready to run again, the season was nearly over. No problem.

"I don't ever recall seeing a $25,000 claiming race on grass at Del Mar, but there it was," Mitchell said. Bush Triumph's owners, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Fishelberg, said Mitchell, "didn't want to run her again for $25,000, but we took a shot." They got away with it Sept. 9, when no one claimed Bush Triumph, who won by 1 1/4 lengths.

Faster and better, Bush Triumph was ready for more, and Mitchell pushed her up to $50,000 claiming Oct. 12 at Santa Anita. Disaster. Bush Triumph was wiped out on the first turn. She steadied hard, lost position, and trailed the field. Fortunately for Mitchell and the Fishelbergs, Laffit Pincay Jr. was up.

"There are a lot of riders that would have just galloped her around there, and forgotten about the race," Mitchell said. "But Laffit stayed cool, tried to save ground, and she won it anyway." It was one of the most impressive claiming wins of the Oak Tree meet. Bush Triumphwas now a genuine rags-to-riches success.

Bush Triumph followed those wins with a first-level allowance score Oct. 27, her fourth straight. "For a few months, she carried the whole stable," Mitchell said. On Thursday at Hollywood Park, she seeks her fifth straight in a two-other-than/optional $80,000 claimer that was split in two divisions. Bush Triumph meets seven others in race 5; rapidly improving Adalgisa entered race 7. Both are mile turf races.

Bush Triumph will be ridden by Pincay, who entered the week ranked second in the standings with nine wins. Leading rider Mike Smith (10 wins) is on Forty on Line in race 5 and Sweep the Deck in race 7. In both races, Pincay will be favored to narrow the gap. He also rides likely favorite Adalgisa in race 7.

Adalgisa skipped a condition Oct. 3 when she scored an easy two-length win. The lightly raced 3-year-old filly returns at the same two-other-than level Thursday for Julio Canani.

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