06/29/2006 11:00PM

Fourty Niners Son needs top effort in American

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Fourty Niners Son, here winning last year's Clement Hirsch, makes his second start of the year in the American.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Fourty Niners Son made his stakes debut in the 2005 American Handicap at Hollywood Park, finishing a game third. Later in the year, he finished third in the Arlington Million and won the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Handicap, a strong season by any measure.

This year, expectations are higher. Fourty Niners Son is supposed to win races such as Sunday's Grade 2, $250,000 American Handicap.

Trained by Neil Drysdale for Tom Baxter, Fourty Niners Son is making his second start of the year in the American, which is run at 1 1/8 miles on turf. On May 20, he finished second in an allowance race, rallying along the rail to finish a neck behind Hendrix, who starts in the American.

"I thought he ran well," Drysdale said. "I'm not sure he likes to come up the inside."

was considered for the Charles Whittingham Handicap in June but was kept out of that race because of a muscle strain.

To win the American, Fourty Niners Son must be at his best. The field includes The Tin Man, an 8-year-old gelding who has not started since finishing second in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free in March; , a front-runner who won the Inglewood Handicap here in April; and El Don, the winner of two stakes at Bay Meadows in the last year.

The American Handicap is the stakes debut of Quasimodo, who has won all four of his starts this year: a maiden race, an allowance race, and two optional claimers.

won two starts at Santa Anita's winter meeting, a campaign highlighted by a one-length victory in Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes in January. In the Dubai Duty Free, run at about 1 1/8 miles on turf, he led to the final furlong before finishing 3 1/2 lengths behind English Group 1 winner David Junior.

"It was a great performance," said trainer Richard Mandella. "I wish David Junior wasn't in there."

After the Dubai race, Mandella said he thought The Tin Man would return for the Del Mar meeting, but The Tin Man is ready sooner than expected.

"He's been working really well, and he's not a great work horse on dirt," Mandella said. "I'm satisfied that he's done enough to get started. I don't know that he's up to his best race."

Flawlessly: 'Silly' a question at mile

Silly Little Mama will attempt to win the fifth stakes of her career in Sunday's $100,000 Flawlessly Stakes, but the one-mile distance of the race for 3-year-old fillies is a concern for trainer Dan McFarlane.

Silly Little Mama has never won beyond 6 1/2 furlongs and has not run beyond seven furlongs in her seven-race career.

"She worked well going seven-eighths, and I think she'll like a mile," McFarlane said. "That's the biggest question. I know she can sprint."

The Flawlessly is Silly Little Mama's second start on turf. In her debut on the surface, in the Manhattan Beach Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf on May 29, Silly Little Mama closed from sixth to win by a length.

If Silly Little Mama does not handle the distance, there are several fillies capable of winning the Flawlessly.

Charming N Lovable has won two routes on turf at this meeting and is making her stakes debut. Tasha's Delight was graded stakes-placed at Woodbine last year. She was a closing fourth in the Manhattan Beach Stakes, her first start of the year.

Soothsay is trying for her first major stakes win. She won the $43,700 Montclair Stakes at Golden Gate Fields in April before finishing a game second to stablemate Sol Mi Fa in the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Oaks in May.