06/26/2008 11:00PM

Class may not carry the day in A Gleam

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - What if the field for a Grade 2 sprint included three Grade 1 winners, and none hit the board?

It might happen Saturday at Hollywood Park.

Intangaroo, Dearest Trickski, and Romance Is Diane appear to be in tough in the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap, even if Romance Is Diane's trainer Mike Mitchell was right when he said, "There aren't any freaks in there."

Ten fillies and mares race seven furlongs on Cushion Track in the A Gleam, race 9 on the 11-race Gold Cup card and arguably the best betting race of the day. If none of the three Grade 1 winners deliver, the door is open for Dawn After Dawn, Magnificience, or Tiz Elemental.

Intangaroo has won two Grade 1 sprints this year for trainer Gary Sherlock, who said Intangaroo will "race once more, then it's Oct. 24," referring to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Intangaroo might be the current class of the field, but her only fast race was on dirt.

Romance Is Diane, winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet in 2006, bombed in her May 31 comeback. Mitchell said she "tied up" five days before the race, but she did the same thing prior to a romping stakes win last fall.

"She's like a gorilla when she trains; I have to give her one more chance," Mitchell said. "She needs to answer some questions."

Dearest Tricksi won the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes in December over a Santa Anita synthetic racing surface that favored speed prior to a midseason refurbishment. Her comeback effort last month - fourth as the odds-on favorite - suggests she may be less effective at Hollywood.

A similar assessment applies to unbeaten Magnificience, who earned an 86 Beyer Speed Figure in her first start after a one-year layoff. "We didn't hit her with the whip, David [Flores] just let her gallop in," trainer Bruce Headley said. "After a year layoff, you don't just come back to where you started."

Magnificience was breathtaking the first two starts of her career, on dirt, at the 2007 Santa Anita winter meet. While she continues to train well at Santa Anita, her racing ability on synthetic remains debatable.

Dawn After Dawn may be positioned for a mild upset in her first start in two months.

"If she's going to be a Breeders' Cup horse, we're thinking the seven-eighths," trainer John Sadler said.

Dawn After Dawn won the Grade 2 La Canada around two turns in February, then placed in three more graded stakes prior to being freshened.

"I skipped the Zenyatta race," Sadler said, referring to the Milady, "to save her for this one. Her best numbers are the short races."

Dawn After Dawn should be positioned within striking range of the front-runner and would be one of the first to attack.

Other entrants are Ashley's Kitty, Political Web, Missvinksi, and Spenditallbaby.