10/22/2003 12:00AM

Busman's holiday for Hills


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Trainer Tim Hills lined up the perfect way to enjoy the Breeders' Cup.

"I get to spend the day at Santa Anita with my two favorite gals, my wife [Laine] and Mooji Moo," said Hills.

The Hillses had long planned to visit friends in California and attend the Breeders' Cup as fans. The opportunity to run Mooji Moo in the $100,000 Very Subtle Handicap on the Breeders' Cup undercard offered a chance to mix business with pleasure.

"With her speed, she should really love Santa Anita," Hills said from Florida. "The owners were very game to go."

This will be an interesting challenge for the 4-year-old filly Mooji Moo, who has won four of six starts at Monmouth Park, her home base for much of the year. She made her most recent outing a front-running victory in the $50,000 Red Cross Stakes at Monmouth on Sept. 27.

The Very Subtle starts the card Saturday at Santa Anita, giving Hills the rest of the day to enjoy the eight Breeders' Cup championships.

It's a rare trip West for Hills, whose operation is split among New Jersey, New York, and Florida divisions.

While Hills enjoys California, the stable is on a roll back East. He sends out Greg's Syrah Friday night in the $40,000 Bergen County Stakes at The Meadowlands.

The five-furlong turf dash for 3-year-olds attracted nine horses, including a powerful entry of Impolite and Placido, trained by Linda Rice.

Impolite, the lone filly in the field, has won four of eight starts this year, including the Little Silver and the Joseph Buckelew stakes over the Monmouth course. She excels in turf sprints and should give the boys all they can handle.

Placido won consecutive five-furlong turf sprints at Calder in May and June.

Greg's Syrah, by contrast, has limited turf experience, having won his lone grass start at Monmouth on Sept. 10.

That effort impressed Hills, considering that Greg's Syrah was still healing from a badly bruised foot.

"He was not 100 percent," Hills said. "The turf was a little soft and you could see he was bearing out a little bit because of the left foot."

Greg's Syrah next ran on the dirt at Delaware Park, battling for the lead before fading in an effort Hills calls, "arguably his best race and one that was better than it looks on paper."

In addition to the Rice entry, Greg's Syrah will face Only the Best, who won the Select and Anderson Fowler stakes at Monmouth; Ah Wilderness, who won his maiden at Belmont Park; College Honor, a $30,000 claim in his last race; Running Furiously, Something Smith; and Unswept.