11/30/2004 12:00AM

Familiar foes tangle again


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Forty Suertudo and Saint Buddy are getting to be old friends. They ran against each other at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 7. They ran against each other on opening day of Hollywood Park's fall meeting Nov. 3. And they will meet again in Thursday's featured seventh race, an optional-claiming race that drew three other runners going 1 1/16 miles. It is the seventh race on an eight-race card that begins at 12:30 p.m. Pacific.

The reason Forty Suertudo and Saint Buddy are meeting again is because they have been stuck at this same two-other-than allowance level. Forty Suertudo came closest to moving up the ladder last time, but dropped a nose decision to Mud Shark at this same 1 1/16-mile distance.

As in their last meeting, Forty Suertudo appears to have an advantage because of the draw. On Nov. 3, Forty Suertudo and Saint Buddy battled for the early lead. , racing outside Saint Buddy, got the best of his pace rival, but lost a heartbreaker to Mud Shark. Forty Suertudo on Thursday is again drawn outside of Saint Buddy.

was the 4-5 favorite on Nov. 3, in part because he finished in front of Forty Suertudo when they met at Santa Anita on Oct. 7. Saint Buddy was second that day, Forty Suertudo fourth.

Considering that both Saint Buddy and Forty Suertudo have had trouble breaking through this allowance condition, handicappers might look for alternatives. With only three other runners, though, pickings are slim.

Capitano appears to have the most upside. He is adding blinkers for his comeback race. This summer, he finished fourth in the Swaps Stakes, which was won by Rock Hard Ten. Last year, Capitano finished second in the Norfolk Stakes to the brilliant Ruler's Court. At age 3, Capitano is lightly raced and still has room for improvement. He also gets in with the lightest impost, 116 pounds, five fewer than Forty Suertudo.

Outta Here is back in allowance company after finishing eighth in the Del Mar Handicap, a 1 3/8-mile grass race. He has been aggressively managed throughout his career and should enjoy a return to an allowance race.

Primerica is the only horse in the race eligible to be claimed for $62,500. He is moving to the dirt after a poor try in a downhill turf sprint at Santa Anita in his last start, in which he finished fifth.