11/10/2005 12:00AM

Californians rush in for Chandler


PHOENIX - The lack of turf racing in Southern California for the next month and a half has left horsemen there looking for alternatives for their grass runners. One option is to look east, to Phoenix. So it's not surprising to see that 6 of the 10 fillies and mares in Saturday's $40,000 Chandler Handicap, a 7 1/2-furlong turf race, made their last start in California.

Kick the Can, one of the favorites in the Chandler, fits that bill, but she also has proven she loves this course. Trained by Lyman Rollins, Kick the Can hasn't raced since early summer when she was no factor against much tougher runners in the Grade 2 Honeymoon and the Flawlessly Stakes in Southern California. She returns to the site of her best work on Saturday.

In 4 starts on this course, Kick the Can has 2 wins and 2 seconds. She rallied to win the Jim Weir Memorial Stakes at this distance here April 23 and then came right back to rally by her elders in the Desert Sky going a mile here May 7. One of her seconds came to Virden here April 2, and that filly came right back to win the Grade 3 Senorita at Hollywood Park over the top filly Three Degrees.

Jocelyn Kenny-Martin, aboard for Kick the Can's last three races, has the return call at 120 pounds.

High impost honors of 121 pounds goes to Shesa Private I, trained by Bart Hone. A daughter of Unaccounted For, Shesa Private I comes here sharp off a stakes win at Albuquerque Sept. 16 and a fine runner-up effort here in the Ahwatukee Express Oct. 22. This will be her first race on turf. Scott Stevens rides.

Also tabbed at 120 pounds is invader Silver Stage. Trained by Vladimir Cerin, Silver Stage began her career at Calder in Florida, and then was sold and sent to Cerin at Del Mar in the summer. She was a close fifth in a stakes at Del Mar and comes off a last-of-10 finish in the Harold C. Ramser at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. She's stuck with the outside post Saturday. Wilson Dieguez rides.

Other contenders include Southern California invaders The Wagers of Sin, also trained by Cerin, who comes off two straight runner-up efforts on the turf, and Heavenly Ransom, who comes off an impressive debut win routing on the turf Oct. 7 at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.