05/01/2002 12:00AM

Cellars Shiraz out to show she's no one-state wonder


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Cellars Shiraz will seek her fourth consecutive victory in the $100,000 Edgewood Stakes, part of the Kentucky Oaks undercard Friday at Churchill Downs.

The Edgewood, at one mile on turf, is the first start for Cellars Shiraz outside the state of Florida, where she was born and has raced 14 times. In her last three starts, Cellars Shiraz has won on both dirt and turf. Churchill's grass course is far different from the one over which Cellars Shiraz raced at Gulfstream Park, but that does not concern trainer Bill Cesare, who says Cellars Shiraz is adaptable.

"This course is sand-based, and I think that will benefit her," Cesare said Wednesday morning. "She can run on either dirt or turf. The course at Gulfstream had a lot of holes in it. I'm looking forward to running her on this course."

Cellars Shiraz has blossomed since being sent around two turns. In 10 races around two turns, Cellars Shiraz has finished out of the money just once. She has been first or second in eight of her last nine starts.

"Ever since we stretched her out, she's shown a lot of potential," Cesare said.

Nine rivals will try to stop Cellars Shiraz from extending her win streak to four. The two biggest threats to Cellars Shiraz could be Guana and Maliziosa, both of whom are coming off victories in entry-level allowance races April 5 at Keeneland.

Guana was making her first start in this country when she won at Keeneland. She won once in three starts in her native France last year. Maliziosa rallied wide and kicked clear to win her division of that split race. Maliziosa's final time was slightly slower than that of Guana's, but a faster pace aided Guana's final time.

"She'd probably appreciate a little more distance," said Bill Mott, who trains Maliziosa. "It looks like there's a lot of speed in there, and that should help her."