06/05/2006 12:00AM

Film Fortune upset-minded


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - It took Film Fortune eight tries to win his first race, a span that included a fifth in the Grade 3 Rebel Stakes and a seventh in the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby earlier this year.

According to trainer Jack Van Berg, Film Fortune is underrated and his stylish victory in a maiden race on the Hollywood Park turf May 6 was an indication of his true ability.

"I thought he should have won the Arkansas Derby," Van Berg said. "I thought he was that kind of horse."

has run well in two turf starts and faces winners on that surface for the first time in an optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles on Wednesday at Hollywood Park. The race could have special meaning for Van Berg, the popular Hall of Fame trainer. Wednesday is his 70th birthday.

Film Fortune will be ridden by Tyler Baze, who was aboard for the maiden win. Film Fortune has drawn the outside in a field of six 3-year-olds. Some of the runners could return for the $150,000 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap here on June 25 or the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar on July 19.

Wednesday's field is led by Lightning Hit, who finished third in the La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita on April 15. Trained by Ron McAnally, Lightning Hit returned to finish second as the odds-on favorite in an optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles on turf on May 17.

Icy Ridge and Halo's Storm have stakes experience.

, who was fifth in the Real Quiet Stakes last November and fifth in the Pasadena Stakes in March, finished third behind Lightning Hit on May 17.

was third in the Klondike Stakes for sprinters at Hastings Park on May 6. He finished sixth in an optional claimer there on May 20 as a heavy favorite. Wednesday's race will be Halo's Storm's turf debut and first start for trainer John Sadler.

Halo's Storm and Dr. Seacliff should give Film Fortune pace to run at. Film Fortune rallied from eighth to win by 2 3/4 lengths on May 6. In February, Film Fortune finished second in his turf debut.

"I thought it was powerful," Van Berg said of the maiden win. "I know he's a good horse.

"Tyler came back and was high on the horse. He should have won his race on the grass at Santa Anita. That's why I put him back on the grass."