02/13/2007 12:00AM

Expect better from No Greater Love


ARCADIA, Calif. - The only way No Greater Love can win the seventh-race feature Thursday at Santa Anita is by improving off her fifth-place comeback attempt one month earlier.

If she improves, perhaps the only way No Greater Love can lose the seventh-race feature is by bad luck.

Ten fillies and mares entered the second-condition allowance sprint, in which No Greater Love will try to win for the third time on the downhill turf course. Others with downhill wins are comebacker La Tormenta, Runaway Cozzene, Squeeze Me Tight, and Princess Ezra.

No Greater Love had been off more than seven months when she returned Jan. 18. Rated behind the speed, she saved ground but was unable to quicken late and lost by less than two lengths. Circumstances change Thursday. No Greater Love moves from post 2 to post 10, switches to Victor Espinoza, and figures for a great trip pressing the pace from the outside.

Carla Gaines trains No Greater Love, who typically improves with racing. Last year, each subsequent start was better than the one before. She tailed off in the fifth start of her campaign, when stretched out to two turns.

Candy Jo has not raced since June, but enters with a resume similar to the top choice's. No Greater Love and Candy Jo both have won 2 of 7 starts. Candy Jo has a solid work pattern for trainer Jeff Mullins and picks up leading rider Garrett Gomez.

Categorize has been a runoff around two turns, and could find the downhill sprint a proper remedy. One-dimensional front-runners that are unable to carry their speed over a distance of ground often run well in fast-paced turf sprints. Brice Blanc rides the 2-for-7 filly for trainer Bobby Frankel.

La Tormenta has won 4 of 6 starts, but has not raced since May and is stuck in the undesirable inside post. Runaway Cozzene won a fast entry-level allowance last out but faces more speed Thursday.

* A good field of California-bred maidens goes in race 3, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint in which Tommy Town Stables's well-regarded Light of the World makes his debut for new trainer Doug O'Neill against similarly well-regarded firster Swift Demand, trained by John Sadler. The first-time starters must beat Victory Joe, who lost by a head last time at 5 1/2 furlongs after breaking slowly from an inside post.