03/30/2006 1:00AM

Good spot for Acceleration to get over stakes hump


ARCADIA, Calif. - Acceleration has yet to win a stakes in her 11-race career, but it has not been for a lack of trying. She has run in six stakes, finishing second or third three times.

Saturday, she's at it again. is one of seven 3-year-old fillies in the Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita.

This time, the race could unfold in her favor. A 6 1/2-furlong race, the Santa Paula Stakes includes several fillies that should ensure a quick pace to aid her late-running style.

"It looks like it might set up for her," trainer Jeff Mullins said. "She always comes along and gets a piece of it."

Owned by Dan Robinson, Acceleration was third in the restricted Tapestry Stakes at six furlongs on March 5. She rallied from last in a field of eight to finish 2 1/4 lengths behind El Mirage Queen.

, who could have been claimed for $62,500 in February, starts in the Santa Paula. Her stalking style could be aided by a quick pace from fillies such as Bettarun Fast, Candy Jo, and Ladies Souvenir.

, second in the Tapestry, also is trained by Mullins. She led throughout to beat maidens by 2 3/4 lengths in a six-furlong race here on Feb 5. In the Tapestry, she led by 1 1/2 lengths in midstretch before finishing a head behind El Mirage Queen.

Bettarun Fast has won 3 of 7 starts, including a sprint stakes on turf last summer at Calder. She was 10th in the Sunshine Millions Oaks in January but returned to finish a game second in the La Habra Stakes on turf on March 5.

"She looked so awful in the Florida race but her last race wasn't bad," said trainer Vladimir Cerin. "I think 6 1/2 furlongs might be stretching it a little bit."

The field includes two undefeated fillies - Ladies Souvenir and Morethanaprincess.

Morethanaprincess, trained by Grant Forster, won her debut in a maiden race at 5 1/2 furlongs here on March 12.

Ladies Souvenir has won a maiden race and an optional claimer in northern California. Trainer Greg Gilchrist said he was impressed by her first win, at Bay Meadows on Jan. 29.

"She got in a pretty good tangle, got back behind horses and ran real well," Gilchrist said. "I knew she had talent. Last time, she won off easily and did it in a quick time. I hope she can step up to the next level."