03/22/2004 12:00AM

Fillies try to make papa proud


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Barry Abrams has been the biggest booster of the stallion Unusual Heat throughout his brief career. He trained the horse, sent him to stud, and has bred numerous mares to him.

One of the hallmarks of Unusual Heat's offspring has been their knack for improving on turf, no surprise considering that Unusual Heat is by Nureyev. Three of his daughters are in Wednesday's featured seventh race at Santa Anita, and Abrams trains two of them, , who should prove a formidable entry.

Both Ballistic Angel and The Toast of Troy ran well in starter-allowance races earlier this meet on the Santa Anita turf. In Wednesday's race, at one mile on turf, they face slightly tougher competition in a first-level allowance for California-bred fillies and mares. But their recent form on turf, plus the allure of getting two for the price of one, will make the entry an attractive proposition for bettors.

There are nine entered in the race, including another entry, the Steve Knapp-trained duo of Kouri Jill and Secret Caper.

Ballistic Angel finished furiously for third in a downhill turf sprint on March 14. That was her first try on turf. Before that, she had been stuck in low-level claiming races.

"She was either going to be a cheap claimer, or turn out halfway decent on the turf," Abrams said. "I didn't want to run her back this quick, but the race came up."

The Toast of Troy won a starter-allowance race at one mile on turf on Feb. 8, then was fourth in a dirt allowance race on March 3. The return to the grass improves her chances.

Abrams also has a rooting interest in Electric Chair, who was third in a similar statebred allowance race on Feb. 11. Abrams bred Electric Chair, and though he lost her via the claim box in October, he still is eligible for breeders' incentive awards.

Unusual Heat's oldest offspring are now age 5. The three fillies in Wednesday's race are from his second crop. Unusual Heat had about 20 offspring each of his first few years at stud, but Abrams said the California-based stallion had his book closed at 100 mares this year.

Proud Nicole will try to break up the Unusual Heat juggernaut. She was second in a similar spot on Feb. 11, beating Electric Chair by two lengths. The knock on Proud Nicole is that she frequently settles for minor awards. She has won just once in 17 tries.

Siberian Silver is an intriguing newcomer from Turf Paradise, where she defeated maidens on March 1 in only her second career start.