11/18/2003 12:00AM

'Glitter' tries to start new streak


CHICAGO - At Hawthorne this time last year, Glitterbdancing was a sure thing. Put her in a maiden race, and she was sure to run second.

The streak started last September at Arlington, when Glitterbdancing finished second in her second start. She kept it up through the end of the Chicago racing season, twice finishing second at Hawthorne, once by a head, the other by a neck. Then Glitterbdancing started her 2003 season March 1 at Hawthorne - by finishing second.

But a funny thing happened here Oct. 18. Glitterbdancing, making just her second start since March, seized the lead at the top of the Hawthorne stretch, opened a big lead, and won by five lengths. So, in Thursday's eighth race at Hawthorne, Glitterbdancing seeks her second straight win.

Eleven others were entered in the entry-level allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs, and the race is about as difficult to handicap as the day's other allowance, the ninth, which is an entry-level race at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Unlike many maiden-race graduates, Glitterbdancing doesn't lack seasoning. She drew the tricky rail post, but Glitterbdancing looks like a legitimate contender. She was ridden out to her victory, showing an entirely new dimension with a strong finish.

The opposition is a hodgepodge of claimers, other recent maiden winners, and fillies struggling to clear the first allowance condition. Beautiful Bets was a distant seventh in her most recent start, but she simply may have folded at a route distance farther than she prefers. My Angela comes off a solid win but only over 3-year-old claiming horses, while Golden Ellen still is trying to repeat the form she showed in her maiden victory here in the spring.

It is more of the same in the ninth, where Bailar is the pick despite a career mark of one win in 28 starts. A deep closer, Bailar rallied into a sluggish pace when she finished fourth in her last start, but should have quicker splits at which to aim this time.

- Eddie Martin is leaving Chicago in style. Martin, who began riding here at the tail end of the Arlington meet, left Hawthorne's jockey colony after Sunday's races to begin riding at Fair Grounds, which opens Nov. 27. And with a strong surge in his final week here, Martin took the lead in the rider standings, with 29 wins. Eddie Razo and Carlos Marquez have 26 wins.