09/01/2004 11:00PM

Fun House has Stevens riding again


DEL MAR, Calif. - The last time Gary Stevens rode Fun House, the mare won her first stakes in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap at Santa Anita in February.

They will be reunited in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar. Fun House will need help from her old friend Stevens to score a victory against a tough field.

The competition includes the Juddmonte Farms entry of Etoile Montante and Intercontinental; Katdogawn, the winner of the Dahlia Handicap last December; and Makeup Artist, who has run well in recent starts.

are trained by Bobby Frankel. He said on Thursday that one of the fillies may be withdrawn. Both are coming off losses. Etoile Montante finished a troubled fourth as a heavy favorite in the Osunitas Handicap on Aug. 11. Intercontinental finished fifth as a heavy favorite in the Grade 1 Diana Handicap over a yielding turf course at Saratoga on July 31. She won two stakes in the spring.

, 5, has won 5 of 25 starts and $402,862. A stalker, she finished fifth in the Royal Heroine Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 3. Stevens has not ridden Fun House since the Buena Vista because he was based in France.

"Stevens rides her very well," trainer Ron McAnally said. "She's doing super, and I think the change of tracks will really help her."

Makeup Artist is winless in four starts this year, but was a game second in the Osunitas. She closed from seventh to finish a half-length behind Voz de Colegiala.

"She went back to her old style of racing," trainer John Sherriffs said of Makeup Artist. "I don't want her running off at the beginning. We want her finishing."

Notting Hill, a longshot trained by Jenine Sahadi, is likely to set the pace. She led in the Grade 1 John Mabee Handicap on July 24, but faded in the final furlong to finish 1 1/4 lengths behind Musical Chimes.

Katdogawn was fifth in the Mabee, losing by 2 3/4 lengths. She was promoted from second to first in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap at Santa Anita in March following the disqualification of Megahertz because of interference.

Katdogawn has not been first past the line since winning the Dahlia Handicap, a streak that has reached six races.