07/01/2004 11:00PM

Elloluv all set for 2004 debut

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Elloluv, one of the top 3-year-old fillies of 2003, is likely to make her first start of the year in the Grade 2, $150,000 A Gleam Invitational Handicap at Hollywood Park next Saturday.

The invitations and weight assignments for the seven-furlong race for fillies and mares were scheduled to be released this Saturday, and Elloluv's name figures to be prominent among the candidates.

Owned by Paul Reddam and trained by Craig Dollase, Elloluv has won 4 of 11 starts and $1,221,475. She has not started since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 27.

Elloluv was taken out of training following that race. She has been in serious training with Dollase for the last 60 days. Friday, Elloluv worked six furlongs from the gate in 1:12, the fastest of eight recorded works at the distance.

"She's really doing well," Dollase said. "We'll monitor her out of this work, but it looks like she got something out of it. I'm still looking at the seven-eighths race."

Elloluv is also nominated for the Grade 1, $250,000 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap over 1 1/16 miles next Sunday.

In her two-year career, Elloluv has proven to be effective in both sprints and longer races. She has won two Grade 1 stakes at 1 1/16 miles - the 2002 Hollywood Starlet and the 2003 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland - and one stakes over seven furlongs, the Grade 2 Santa Ynez in January 2003.

Last year, Elloluv was second in four major stakes, including the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita in October.

A return engagement in the BC Distaff at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30 is a long-term goal.

The A Gleam is also expected to include three other stakes winners at this meeting - Coconut Girl, the winner of the Desert Stormer Handicap on June 5; Elusive Diva, a 3-year-old who won the Railbird Stakes on May 2; and Royally Chosen, who won the B. Thoughtful Stakes on April 24.

Elusive Diva finished second to Hollywood Story in the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks over 1 1/16 miles June 12.

Valenzuela wins two in return

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela returned from a 30-day ban Thursday to ride two winners from five mounts.

Valenzuela won the first race on A Song in a Minor ($4.80) and the sixth with Awesome Lady ($5). He finished second in the fourth race aboard Lass Lil' Sunrise, eighth in the fifth race on The Road Boss, and fourth in the eighth race on High Byars.

"I had a good day," he said. "I thought I'd have three or four winners, but I couldn't get it done. A routine of winning two a day would be nice."

Before Thursday, Valenzuela's last race came May 31, when he won the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile on Designed for Luck.

Valenzuela, who won riding titles at the five major meetings in Southern California last year, was suspended for four months by the California Horse Racing Board on May 18 for missing a mandatory drug test in January. He was given three months' credit for time served from late January to late April and ordered to serve the remaining month in June.

In an effort to ride Rock Hard Ten in the Belmont Stakes on June 5, Valenzuela sought a one-week stay of the suspension in Los Angeles Superior Court on June 1, but the stay was denied. Rock Hard Ten finished fifth in the Belmont Stakes under Alex Solis.

The board also ordered Valenzuela to complete 100 hours of community service by the end of the year.

Sunday, Valenzuela has mounts in six of the nine races. Through Thursday, he was fourth in the standings with 35 wins, trailing leader Corey Nakatani by 11.

Continental Red eyes Gold Cup

Continental Red, the 2002 California-bred horse of the year, is being considered for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 10. The Gold Cup is likely to have a small field, which is why owners Wes and Sharon Fitzpatrick and trainer Ian Jory are contemplating the race for Continental Red.

The candidates include Even the Score, Olmodavor, Total Impact, and Yessirgeneralsir. Even the Score, who has won the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap and Californian Stakes at this meeting, is the favorite. He is owned by Ro Parra and trained by Vladimir Cerin.

Dynever, Funny Cide, and Peace Rules, who were entered in Saturday's Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park, have not been ruled out of consideration should they not start at Belmont Park.

Continental Red would start if the New York-based horses do not run, Jory said.

An 8-year-old, Continental Red has raced primarily on turf, winning 7 of 62 starts and $1,173,558. In his last start on dirt, he finished sixth in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita on Jan. 24. His last win on dirt came in the Great State Challenge at Sam Houston Race Park in December 2002.

"He trains on this dirt course all the time," Jory said. "I'm not that scared of Vladimir's horse."

Continental Red has made three starts at this meeting, finishing second in the Khaled Stakes and Jim Murray Handicap and fifth in the Charles Whittingham Handicap. If Continental Red does not start in the Hollywood Gold Cup, he may resurface in the Grade 2, $150,000 Sunset Handicap over 1 1/2 miles on turf July 18.

The prize money on offer in the Gold Cup makes the race more enticing than the Sunset, Jory said.

"If you run third or better, it's better than winning the Sunset," he said.

Candy Ride training again

Candy Ride, the winner of the 2003 Pacific Classic, and Fairly Ransom, the winner of the 2003 Del Mar Derby, have resumed training after being sidelined by injuries. Trainer Ron McAnally says he is hoping both can return to racing by October.

Candy Ride has not started since the Pacific Classic last August. Owned by Sid and Jenny Craig, Candy Ride is unbeaten in six starts - three in Argentina and three in California. He was considered one of the top handicap horses in the nation last fall before being sidelined.

Fairly Ransom has not started since finishing sixth in the San Luis Obispo Handicap at Santa Anita in February.