07/01/2006 12:00AM

Dance in the Mood cruises


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Two years later than expected, Dance in the Mood, the Japanese star, became a major stakes winner at Hollywood Park on Saturday.

A troubled second in the 2004 American Oaks, Dance in the Mood gained revenge in the $750,000 , running a nearly flawless race to win her first stakes in the United States.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Dance in the Mood ($7.20) rallied from sixth on the backstretch to win the one-mile turf race by 1 3/4 lengths over Sweet Talker. Dance in the Mood led by a larger margin in the final furlong but pulled herself up near the finish.

A slight favorite, Dance in the Mood was timed in a quick 1:33.33.

The winning move that Dance in the Mood made on the final turn stunned Espinoza, who was riding the 5-year-old mare for the first time.

"She was nice and relaxed" in the first part, Espinoza said. "She was waiting for me to move my hands a little bit. When I did, she took off so fast. The next thing I knew, I was almost in front."

Espinoza said that Dance in the Mood took a breather late.

"It was so easy that she didn't have to do much," he said.

Owned by Shadai Race Horse and trained by Kazuo Fujisawa, Dance in the Mood has won 6 of 21 starts and $4,935,512. Much of the prize money has been earned in lucrative races in Japan. Earlier this year, Dance in the Mood won the $1.56 million Victoria Mile for females at a mile on turf.

Sweet Talker finished second in the Grade 3 CashCall, a half-length in front of Luas Line. Dancing Edie finished fourth, followed by Cambiocorsa, Shining Energy, Toupie, and Flying Glitter.

Sweet Talker had won her four previous starts, including the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last October.

Shining Energy, the winner of the Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Stakes here on May 29, was last for the first half-mile. She made progress on the turn, but failed to continue that rally in the stretch.

A Gleam: Somethinaboutlaura by nose

Somethinaboutlaura won her first graded stakes in the Grade 2, $150,000 A Gleam Handicap, prevailing by a nose over Maryfield after a stretch-long duel.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Somethinaboutlaura ($5.20) won by the narrowest of margins, finishing seven furlongs in 1:20.88. Allswellthatnswell finished third in the field of six fillies and mares.

Somethinaboutlaura was third on the backstretch, tracking Maryfield and the longshot Lady Bertrando through a quick pace of 21.81 and 44.31 seconds. Lady Bertrando faded from contention with three furlongs left, leaving Somethinaboutlaura and Maryfield clear of their rivals.

Somethinaboutlaura led narrowly in the stretch, but Maryfield quickly fought back. The two were inseparable through the final furlong.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Somethinaboutlaura has won 7 of 15 starts and $357,735. She has won two minor stakes at Bay Meadows in the last year.