12/31/2008 12:00AM

Frankel mare drops down into Paseana


ARCADIA, Calif. - It has been a long dry spell for Double Trouble, who has finished out of the money in four straight races. The past year began in far more encouraging fashion, with a win in the Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap in February. But after a series of disappointing performances in graded stakes races, Double Trouble will take a drop in class in search of ending her losing streak when she faces five rivals in the $70,000 Paseana Handicap on Friday at Santa Anita.

Friday's eight-race card, which begins at 1 p.m., offers free general admission. Free box seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and many food items - such as hot dogs, soda, beer, and popcorn - will be sold for $1. Santa Anita will have a similar policy on Fridays throughout this meet.

The money saved on admission and food can be rolled into a pick six and pick four that have large fields, with one exception. The Paseana, the day's seventh race, only has six runners going 1 1/16 miles on Pro-Ride, but the clouded form of several entrants, including Double Trouble, makes it just as wide open as some of the other races in the sequence.

Double Trouble most recently returned from a five-month layoff to finish fifth of seven in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 7.

"She broke well, relaxed, and looked like she was going to make a run, but she just hung," her trainer, Bobby Frankel, said at Santa Anita on Wednesday morning. "Her races on this track have been good. If she runs back to some of her races last year on this track, she's got a hell of a shot."

Rafael Bejarano has ridden Double Trouble in her last eight starts, but Garrett Gomez takes over Friday.

Bejarano landed on Victorina, who won a similar minor stakes race on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Golden Gate Fields on Oct. 26, then was second in a money-allowance on the turf at Golden Gate on Nov. 21. A remarkably consistent mare, Victorina has won 12 of 23 starts, and has finished first or second 18 times.

You Lift Me Up is nominated to the Grade 2 San Gorgonio Handicap on the turf on Sunday, but Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains and co-owns her, said on Wednesday that she would stay in the Paseana.

"She's ready to go now," Hollendorfer said. "I think she'll run well on the synthetic. She's been training real well the whole time she's been in Southern California."