11/20/2001 12:00AM

Ceeband might be unbeatable


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Ceeband threatens to turn the Thanksgiving Day feature at Hollywood Park into a one-horse race.

Seven older horses entered the $100,000 On Trust Handicap for California-breds, including track specialist Grey Memo, but Ceeband's sharp current form and cocky attitude at trainer John Sadler's barn suggests he is a short price worth taking.

"He's unconscious right now, he's in a zone," assistant trainer Larry Benavidez said. "Ever since the start of last month, he's been mentally focused; he's got his game face on."

It shows. Claimed in March for $62,500 by CRK Stable, Ceeband has won four of his last six and will seek his third straight win when he goes favored in the 7 1/2-furlong On Trust. First post Thursday is 11 a.m., and Ceeband looks every bit an even-money shot under jockey Matt Garcia.

Ceeband won his last two starts at Bay Meadows and Santa Anita, but thrives at Hollywood. In eight starts on the Hollywood main track, the 4-year-old Ceeband has four wins, including the Grade 2 Triple Bend Handicap in July. Overall, Ceeband has won 7 of 27, and earned $574,582. Though there is a conspicuous absence of speed in the On Trust, Ceeband has more gas than his main rival - Grey Memo, trained by Warren Stute.

"He seems to love this track," Stute said. "He likes it better than I do. I think it's too deep, but maybe I'm wrong."

Grey Memo, a 4-year-old gray, certainly has no qualms with Hollywood. He has won 4 of 8 at Hollywood, and 6 of 30 overall. Unfortunately for Grey Memo and jockey Garrett Gomez, Grey Memo is compromised by the lack of pace. "We're all in the same boat, so you have to make the best of it," said Stute.

Ceeband carries 123 pounds; defending On Trust winner Grey Memo carries 119. Stormy Jack, 5 for 15 and runner-up last time out in the California Cup Sprint won by Ceeband, also carries 119. All of Stormy Jack's wins have come at Del Mar.

Golden General was compromised by a brutal trip in the California Cup Mile, in which he finished seventh, beaten two lengths, while blocked the length of the lane. All four of his career wins have been on grass.

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