10/15/2003 12:00AM

Former claimers face off

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ARCADIA, Calif. - The Borg Queen won a modest maiden race for claimers when Richard Englander and Jeff Mullins claimed her for $40,000 on March 9 at Santa Anita.

So far, the claim has worked out.

The Borg Queen won consecutive races for claimers at Del Mar and finished second in the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Marian Stakes at Fairplex Park on Sept. 22.

Friday, The Borg Queen tries for her fourth win of 2003 and is the likely favorite in a $49,000 optional claimer over a mile for California-breds fillies and mares.

She is not the only former claimer that will start in Friday's race. Four of the six entrants have been claimed in the last year; the other two have started for a price.

Real Paranoide was claimed for $50,000 last November and has since had one win in eight starts. She finished third in the B. Thoughtful Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Wild Girl was claimed for $25,000 at Del Mar on Aug. 31, when she won by six lengths. She returned to finish eighth in an allowance race on turf here on Oct. 8.

Thermal Ablasion makes her second start for trainer Armando Lage, who claimed her for $32,000 after a second at Bay Meadows on Sept. 20. She was eighth as a longshot against $55,000 claimers on the hillside turf course here on Oct. 11.

The two starters that have not been claimed - Doin' it Easy and Lucky in Love - have mixed form. Doin' it Easy beat maiden claimers at Del Mar on Aug 11, but was last of five in her first start against winners on Sept. 10.

Lucky in Love has better form and is capable of beating The Borg Queen.

Trained by Bruce Headley, Lucky in Love beat $32,000 claimers at Del Mar on July 30 and returned to finish third in an allowance race against California-breds over a mile Aug. 25.

In her last few starts, Lucky in Love has raced on or near the lead. The strategy could pose a problem in Friday's race since Wild Girl is also best from the front.

A speed duel would help The Borg Queen, who has shown the ability to stalk in recent starts. The Borg Queen will be ridden by Victor Espinoza, who was aboard for the Del Mar wins.

Mullins's stable has won with four of its first 10 starters at this meeting.