04/28/2010 11:00PM

Czechers looks hard to catch


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - In the last couple of years, Czechers has been sent to Turf Paradise to win two stakes.

Czechers, 5, is winless 13 stakes in California, a span that includes six second- or third-place finishes.

Saturday at Hollywood Park, Czechers may get the job done. Czechers is quick enough to lead throughout the $100,000 Wilshire Handicap over a mile on turf for fillies and mares.

"Her natural speed will put her on the lead," trainer Mark Glatt said. "Hopefully, we can take them gate to the wire. Anybody who tries to challenge her, it will cost them the race."

The Wilshire Handicap is the ninth race on an 11-race program that begins at 11 a.m. Pacific to accommodate the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby program from Churchill Downs.

Czechers, owned by Allen and Susan Branch, is part of a field of 10, which includes April Pride, Cat by the Tale, Dextera, Princess Haya, and You Lift Me Up, all stakes winners throughout North America in the last year.

Cat by the Tale, who won the Grade 2 San Gorgonio Handicap in January, shares top weight of 118 pounds with Princess Haya, and is likely to go favored. Princess Haya won the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes at Woodbine last fall.

Czechers was winless in five starts, all stakes, at Santa Anita earlier this year, including a third behind division leader Tuscan Evening in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap over a mile on turf in February and runner-up finishes in turf sprints on the hillside course in March and April.

Frank Alvarado, who is based at Golden Gate Fields, will ride Czechers for the first time on Saturday. He replaces Rafael Bejarano, who is riding at Churchill Downs.

"We've had to play musical riders a little bit, and she's given a good effort in her last several races for whoever has ridden her," Glatt said. "Hopefully, he can get her to settle as much as possible. That's the key."

You Lift Me Up, who drew the rail, is seeking her third consecutive win. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, You Lift Me Up won an allowance race at Santa Anita on March 3 and the Work the Crowd Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on March 20.

"We had pretty good confidence in her in her last race," Hollendorfer said.