09/02/2004 11:00PM

Domestic Dispute all prepped


DEL MAR, Calif. - Domestic Dispute's second-place finish to Kela in the Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 15 served as a wake-up call.

The race was Domestic Dispute's first start since a sixth-place finish in the Dubai World Cup in March, and the way he finished through the stretch left trainer Paddy Gallagher encouraged about a late-summer and fall campaign.

Gallagher's feeling will be tested when Domestic Dispute starts in Sunday's $250,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap over a mile.

"That race has brought him along quite a lot," Gallagher said of the O'Brien. "I liked the way he went on. I think he can be effective at a mile. I think the two turns is the main thing."

In the Grade 2 Del Mar BC Handicap, shares top weight of 117 pounds with During, who is making his third stakes appearance at the meeting. During finished third in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap on Aug. 1 and fifth in the $1 million Pacific Classic Aug. 22.

Despite those defeats, is expected to play a major role in Sunday's race. Trained by Bob Baffert, During is likely to set the pace with Night Patrol, who was fifth in the San Diego and eighth in the Pacific Classic. If those two set a decent pace, the race could set up well for stalkers such as Domestic Dispute, Snorter, and Supah Blitz, or a closer such as Touch the Wire.

, trained by Bobby Frankel, has not started since finishing third in the Seabiscuit Breeders' Cup Handicap at Bay Meadows in May.

Touch the Wire scored a sharp win in an optional claimer over a mile on Aug. 5, rallying from sixth. Trainer Craig Dollase said Touch the Wire is dependent on a quick pace Sunday.

"Hopefully, they'll come back," Dollase said. "He's a horse that needs some pace."

The Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap will be the California debut of Supah Blitz, a stakes winner who has earned $638,610 and was bought privately by a partnership in late August. Supah Blitz was 13th in the 2003 Kentucky Derby.

"If he likes the West Coast, or if we can move him a few lengths forward, I think he will fit with these horses," trainer Doug O'Neill said.

O'Neill said he was encouraged last weekend when Supah Blitz worked a half-mile in 48.20 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.

"This should show whether what we paid for him was good value or whether we overpaid," O'Neill said.