10/04/2004 11:00PM

Forty Suertudo set for upset


ARCADIA, Calif. - The second half of the first daily double is merely a prelude to the weekday pick six in Southern California. So when only five horses entered the richest race on the Thursday card at Santa Anita, the racing office buried the two-other-than allowance as the second race on the card.

Might as well. Five-horse fields rarely produce the type of surprise winners that cause large pick-six payoffs or carryovers, and most bettors probably agree that either should win race 2 on Thursday.

The last time Saint Buddy ran at Santa Anita he finished third in the Santa Anita Handicap. A week after the Big 'Cap, Forty Suertudo was an 83-1 longshot finishing more than 10 lengths back in an overnight stakes. That was seven months ago, and plenty has changed.

While Saint Buddy has not returned to top form for trainer Rafael Becerra, Forty Suertudo has rapidly improved since joining trainer John Sadler three starts back. Saint Buddy will be favored to win his first start since July 25, but Forty Suertudo is poised to upset after a good third in a race from which runner-up Hotel Hall returned to win a $100,000 stakes at Fairplex Park.

Three others entered the 1 1/16-mile race - comebacker Private War from the Bobby Frankel stable, late-runner Mud Shark, and outsider Good Gold. The modest allowance race will be forgotten as soon as the pick six starts a race later.

A field of eight 3-year-old claiming fillies entered race 3. The favorites

in the $25,000 claiming race at 6 1/2 furlongs include sharp class climber Blazing Bartok and dropper Conceal the Deal. Great White North and Miz Roadway also are entered, while the pick five starts one race later.

Nine entered race 4, a maiden $40,000 starter allowance at a mile on turf. Terpischore finished third in a similar spot Aug. 25 at Del Mar, and will be favored under Victor Espinoza. Her rivals include Stormy Senorita, Bettys Tribute, and Readmeansgo.

Bettors blown out of the earlier wagers can bet on the pick four one race later. Race 5 is a $40,000 filly-mare claimer, led by Capitola, Place to Hide, and Jaciro. Place to Hide is one of eight runners that Becerra entered on the card, and the gaggle of Becerra runners continues in race 6, when fast-working first-time starters Uncle Denny and Sporty McGee run six furlongs in a Cal-bred maiden race for 2-year-olds.