05/31/2006 12:00AM

Haka Girl can beat these boys


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Since she beat maidens in her career debut at Del Mar in 2004, Haka Girl has failed to return to the winner's circle in six tries. In a career plagued by layoffs, she has found trouble in a few starts and was once beaten a head in a minor sprint stakes on turf.

Friday at Hollywood Park, may have found a spot to secure her second career win. A 4-year-old, she is the lone filly in a field of eight in a $51,000 allowance race at 1 1/16 miles. But with the exception of the lightly raced Mr. Wolverine, Haka Girl does not face a strong field.

Trained by Neil Drysdale for Anthony Speelman, Haka Girl has started once this year, finishing fourth in an allowance race against fillies and mares at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf here on May 13. She was well off the pace early but made up ground through the stretch to lose by 2 1/2 lengths.

"At five and a half, I thought she ran well," Drysdale said. "I think she should do well" on Friday.

Haka Girl will be ridden for the first time by jockey Victor Espinoza, the fourth different rider for the filly in as many starts. Even though she has made the early lead in the past, Haka Girl is arguably more effective as a stalker.

Friday's race features two confirmed front-runners in , who drew the inside two post positions. Miracle Maker won a $40,000 claimer at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in his last start on May 7. He is trained by Ted H. West, who is 2 for 2 at the meeting. This is the longest race in Miracle Maker's nine-race career.

Wild Shaman won a $32,000 claiming race at a mile on turf at Santa Anita on April 7, but returned to finish fourth here in a turf sprint on May 5.

One horse in excellent form is Mr. Wolverine, who is trained by Jorge Gutierrez. A 4-year-old gelding, Mr. Wolverine has won 2 of 4 starts - a maiden race here last year and a first-condition allowance race for California-breds at Santa Anita in April.

Owned by a partnership, nearly pulled off the upset of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting in March, when he finished second by a nose at 62-1 in the Crystal Water Handicap at a mile on turf.

Mr. Wolverine has drawn the outside post. David Cohen has the mount.