06/04/2003 11:00PM

'General' takes class drop

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - General Challenge, who lost his comeback in April following an absence of more than 2 1/2 years, returns in a $58,000 allowance race Saturday and faces a difficult opponent in the Argentine import Candy Ride.

The allowance race will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, part of a program that features two stakes races.

General Challenge finished last of nine in the Tiznow Stakes on April 26, his first start since August 2000. General Challenge, a 7-year-old, has won 9 of 19 starts and $2,876,018 for Golden Eagle Farm and trainer Bob Baffert.

"He's just starting to show his old form," Baffert said.

Candy Ride was acquired privately last winter by owners Sid and Jenny Craig and is now trained by Hall of Famer Ron McAnally. In Argentina, he was unbeaten in three starts, including two Group 1 stakes races.

"It's been a while since I've had a horse that trains as well as he does," McAnally said.

Ender's Shadow wins, could try Affirmed

After bashing around some of trainer Jenine Sahadi's staff in recent weeks, Ender's Shadow finally picked on somebody his own size in Wednesday's seventh race at Hollywood Park.

Making his first start against winners, Ender's Shadow stubbornly held the lead throughout an allowance race at 1 1/8 miles, winning by a half-length over Groom on the Run. The victory led Sahadi and owner Green Lantern Stable to consider the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap at 1 1/16 miles June 22 for Ender's Shadow, an A.P. Indy colt.

"I think he's very talented," Sahadi said. "I think those were real horses he ran against today."

Ender's Shadow made his fifth start Wednesday and added blinkers. He was sidelined from July until April after bone chips were removed from an ankle and knee.

The time off has apparently not cooled his temper. Recently, his groom has been bitten on the ear, requiring eight stitches, and also on the arm, Sahadi said.

Ender's Shadow paid $13 beating a field that included several horses hoping to use the race as a springboard to stakes races. Groom on the Run has run in graded stakes races in the past, while third-place finisher Weatherman could develop into a stakes-quality horse for trainer Bob Baffert.

The disappointments of the race were Manchurian, who finished fourth, and Bullistic, who finished last of six.

Manchurian's dam is Ajina, the 1997 champion 3-year-old filly. Wednesday's race was Manchurian's second start.

Bullistic, the winner of a maiden race by 7 1/2 lengths April 6, did not have an easy trip. He was under a ride on the backstretch, stayed close to the pace on the turn, but lost all chance in the stretch when blocked and steadied.

Echo Eddie hits million milestone

Echo Eddie is racing's newest millionaire. The multiple stakes winner crossed that plateau with an easy two-length win in a $71,500 allowance race at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in Wednesday's fifth race. The victory pushed Echo Eddie's earnings to $1,028,754 after 10 wins in 25 starts.

The 6-year-old Echo Eddie may return for the $75,000 Robert Kerlan Memorial Handicap at 5 1/2 furlongs July 12, trainer Darrell Vienna said.