04/09/2007 11:00PM

Ex-claimers aspire to stakes

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ARCADIA, Calif. - The results of the last 18 months have proven that Easy Obsession and Yearly Attitude were excellent claims, especially for cheap mares.

Easy Obsession was claimed last summer for $10,000 and has won three subsequent races. Yearly Attitude was claimed for $25,000 in November 2005 and has won twice since, and finished second in the California Cup Matron last fall.

The two mares meet for the first time in a one-mile optional claimer at Santa Anita on Thursday, a race that their respective trainers hope will lead to stakes appearances in coming months.

Yearly Attitude, trained by Bill Spawr, is making her first start since finishing ninth in the Sunshine Millions Distaff here in January. That race is a throw-out to Spawr, who said the 5-year-old Yearly Attitude's condition took a turn for the worse after that race.

"She lost a lot of weight and her hair turned the wrong way," Spawr said.

Since returning to serious training, Yearly Attitude has worked well, including six furlongs in 1:13 here on March 22.

"This is a good spot for her," Spawr said.

Yearly Attitude has won 4 of 12 starts in her career. Last fall, she finished third in the California Cup Matron and was promoted to second after a rival was disqualified. Spawr is hopeful that she can return to that level.

"We'll see how she comes out of this," he said. "Races can take a lot out of her. If she gets lucky, she could win one of those" stakes.

Easy Obsession has not been worse than fourth in seven starts since being claimed. Trainer Nick Hines said the 5-year-old "has some issues," notably a recent battle with a quarter crack.

She showed no ill effects when winning an optional claimer against statebreds going a mile at Santa Anita on Feb. 28.

Owned by Tom Grether, Easy Obsession drew the outside post in Thursday's race, which also features Karlee's Kitten, Romanesque, and Dona Kika. Hines said the outside post will give Easy Obsession an ideal trip.

"She tends to run best when she sets off with a target," Hines said.

Hines is hoping the five weeks since Easy Obsession's last start will help the mare's chances on Thursday. The race is meant to serve as a prep for the Fran's Valentine Stakes for California-bred females on April 29.

"She might like the turf at Hollywood Park," he said. "She likes to kind of hear her feet rattle."