06/14/2001 11:00PM

Get with Expected Program in Haggin


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - So far, Expected Program has handled everything he has faced in his brief career.

In his debut in late April, Expected Program blew the turn in a maiden race over 4 1/2 furlongs, but rerallied to win. In the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes on May 26, he was challenged by Fonz's in early stretch, but won his stakes debut by a neck.

In Sunday's $75,000 Haggin Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs, the

2-year-old Expected Program will be heavily favored to remain unbeaten. Despite breaking from the outside in the field of eight, he will be heavily favored.

"He's a serious horse," trainer Jim Chapman said. "He's like a 3-year-old."

The Haggin Stakes is a prep for the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship on July 15, the division championship of the meeting.

Expected Program is the lone stakes winner in the Haggin field. His toughest competition comes from Britetonzmyday, a maiden winner against Cal-breds on April 22; and Square Cut Diamond and Roberto's Show, who were third and fourth, respectively, in the Proctor. Fonz's, who emerged from the Proctor with sore shins, is off until the Del Mar meeting.

Roberto's Show lost a shoe in the Proctor, and trainer Clifford Sise expects a better performance on Sunday, though he respects Expected Program. "I'll let him and another speed horse go and I'll be behind them," Sise said. "If I run second, I'll be tickled."

Designed for what?

Designed for Luck's race at Hollywood Park on Thursday went much better than the last one he ran on this turf course.

Last November, Designed for Luck finished first in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at 58-1, but was disqualified and placed fifth for causing interference.

On Thursday, in his first start since December, Designed for Luck showed better behavior, winning a $58,000 allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on turf in the quick time of 1:39.63. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Designed for Luck stalked pacesetter National Anthem to the quarter-pole and won by 1 1/2 lengths. It was the first victory against older horses for the 4-year-old Designed for Luck, who is owned by David and Holly Wilson.

"When they go from 3 to 4, you don't know if they'll mature physically," trainer Vladimir Cerin said. "But it looks like he did. It was certainly a good field that he beat."

Aside from National Anthem, who was second in the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap on April 21, Thursday's allowance race featured the hard-knocking allowance horse Quianlong, who finished third.

For Cerin, Thursday's race was the perfect start to Designed for Luck's 2001 campaign. The next goal is the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar on July 28 and not the $150,000 American Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 4.

"I thought American Handicap, but it's too close," said Cerin. "I've always given him four to five weeks between races, so it looks like the Eddie Read. He's won over 1 1/8 miles before, but we didn't get to keep the money."

Showdown in Beverly Hills

Astra and Happyanunoit, mares who have won the last two major turf stakes for females in Southern California, will meet for the first time in nearly a year in the $200,000 Beverly Hills Handicap next Sunday.

Astra will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux, who has been riding in Japan since April. June 24 will be his first day back in California.

Both mares won their 2001 debuts: Astra scored in the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita on April 14, while Happyanunoit won the Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap on May 26.

Last year, they met twice. Astra beat Happyanunoit in the Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita, but Happyanunoit beat Astra in the Beverly Hills. In the Beverly Hills, Astra finished fourth but was disqualified and placed fifth for interference in what would be her final start of the year.

Aside from those two, the Grade 1 Beverly Hills is expected to include High Walden, Jig and Kalypso Katie.

*Kona Gold, the 2000 champion sprinter, worked five furlongs in 58.60 seconds at Santa Anita on Friday, the fastest of 39 recorded works at the distance. Unraced since winning the Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on April 1, Kona Gold will make his next start at Del Mar on the weekend of July 21-22.

A match race between Kona Gold and Caller One, the winner of the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 24, is possible for July 21. Otherwise, Kona Gold will start in the $200,000 Bing Crosby Handicap the following day.