02/13/2006 12:00AM

Cambiocorsa rules this track


ARCADIA, Calif. - is the Queen of the Hill. She has made four sprint starts on Santa Anita's unique downhill turf course and has won all four of them. Bode Miller aspires to be as proficient a downhill racer.

On Wednesday at Santa Anita, Cambiocorsa will make her drive for five. She is seeking her fifth victory on the 6 1/2-furlong course, and third at this meet, in the featured seventh race, a third-level allowance that drew 10 older fillies and mares.

The seventh race carries a purse of $59,000, making it the second-richest race of the day. The second race, a money allowance for older sprinters, has a $63,000 purse, but was placed outside the pick six because it drew only five runners, including Areyoutalkintome and Stone Rain.

Cambiocorsa ran on the hillside course for the first time in April 2005 and defeated maidens. She won here again during the Oak Tree meeting in November, then scored consecutive victories a week apart last month, including the Wishing Well Handicap. This will be her third race in 24 days.

"You hate to get greedy, but she's sound and doing great, and we know she loves this course," said Doug O'Neill, who trains Cambiocorsa. "We kept her fresh for this meet. The key is to take advantage of every opportunity."

O'Neill said there is no special secret to training a horse to run on the downhill course, which includes a slight right-hand turn as well as having to cross the main track at the top of the stretch.

"You just have to hope they take to it," O'Neill said. "We were also blessed to have F.J.'s Pace" - a course specialist from earlier this decade - "and he loved it. They both trained on the training track at Hollywood Park. I don't know if that tighter track helped them adapt to the weird configuration. But she definitely has a fondness for it."

The main threat to Cambiocorsa could be Grecian, who was third in a money allowance race going a mile the first week of the meet. The turn back in distance might prove beneficial.

Fire Bolt has finished second twice on this course and most recently was a narrow loser in the Soviet Problem Handicap at Golden Gate.

Berbatim sputtered on a wet-fast track in the La Brea Stakes last time out, but ran well in the La Habra Stakes on this course last year.