01/06/2005 12:00AM

Familiar foes reunited in San Pasqual


ARCADIA, Calif. - Three months after they finished a head apart in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap, Lundy's Liability and Total Impact meet again in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 at Santa Anita.

Both could use a win as a springboard to more important stakes, and to offset recent losses. But an expected off track, and the presence of a few rivals capable of an upset, may spoil those plans.

Total Impact, who won the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup last July, is making his first start since finishing fourth in the $2.4 million Japan Cup Dirt in Tokyo on Nov. 28. Lundy's Liability, who won the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai last March, was sixth in the Grade 2 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26.

Total Impact and Lundy's Liability face five opponents in the 1 1/16-mile San Pasqual, including the multiple stakes winner Excessivepleasure and the recent allowance race winner Formal Attire.

The San Pasqual field would have been bigger, but a few horses who might have run went instead in the San Gabriel Handicap when that race was switched from turf to dirt last week. Truly a Judge and Star Cross, the first two finishers in the San Gabriel, would have been top contenders in the San Pasqual.

The San Pasqual is one of two $150,000 races on Saturday's nine-race program. The San Gorgonio Handicap for fillies and mares is the fourth race.

Total Impact carries high weight of 120 pounds, one more than Lundy's Liability.

Trained by Laura de Seroux, Total Impact is winless in four starts since the Hollywood Gold Cup, a span that includes a third in the $1 million Pacific Classic in August and a second in the Fayette Stakes at Keeneland in October.

Victor Espinoza will ride Total Impact, who is expected to have a stalking trip behind Excessivepleasure.

"The tactics that were used in the Gold Cup are best for the horse," de Seroux said. "In the Gold Cup we let him sit behind and he slipped through along the rail and won going away."

Lundy's Liability led or disputed the pace in the Goodwood, and led to early stretch in the Clark. Trainer Bobby Frankel said he would prefer that Lundy's Liability race as a stalker. "I don't think he wants to be on the lead," he said.

Frankel cautions that Lundy's Liability is not 100 percent fit because of recent wet weather.

"I will probably run if the track is okay," Frankel said. "I don't want to run if it's muddy."