06/24/2001 11:00PM

Filigree leads off Dolan's lineup at Hollywood


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Optimistic plans call for John Dolan to win two races this week at Hollywood Park with reliable 6-year-old mares bred in California. First up is Filigree, a Dolan-trained sprinter who will try to run down the speed in the seventh-race feature Wednesday, a two-other-than/optional $62,500 claimer.

The stakes are higher Saturday when the Dolan-trained Lazy Slusan goes favored in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap, a $250,000 race for fillies and mares. Already a two-time Grade 1 winner this year, Lazy Slusan will be making her first start since Dolan became outright owner.

According to Dolan, co-owner Sam Longo, 94, sold out to Dolan following Lazy Slusan's romping win June 3 in the Grade 1 Milady. The change in ownership gives Dolan unconditional control of the mare, who seeks to cement her reputation as California's leading older female when she heads a small Vanity field.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and Dolan will continue to train Longo's consistent sprint mare Dusty Heather. Regarding Lazy Slusan, Dolan said: "She's better than she's ever been, she's carrying more weight, she's stronger."

Dolan and Longo claimed Lazy Slusan for $62,500 last July 29 at Del Mar, and she since has won 7 of 11 and earned more than $600,000. Meanwhile, Filigree has not turned out so bad herself. She is one of the favorites in a 6 1/2-furlong filly-mare sprint Wednesday, seeking to boost her burgeoning earnings total.

"It's kind of amazing to see her bankroll," Dolan said, "going into her last race, she had more than $300,000 and was still eligible to one-other-than."

He claimed Filigree for $40,000 from her fifth career start in February 1998, and she enters the feature having won eight races and $357,944 from 32 starts.

"She's super sharp right now, she's just a horse that tries hard every time," Dolan said. With regular rider Victor Espinoza serving a three-day suspension, Gary Stevens has the call. To win the race, Filigree must catch front-runner Kipper's Kitten and pace-presser Nite Gaze.

Nite Gaze is starting for the first time since trainer Vladimir Cerin claimed her from Mike Mitchell one month ago for $40,000. Nite Gaze won that race with a career-best figure, she has won won three of four at Hollywood Park, and her role as pace-presser will allow her to have first run over Filigree.