05/28/2002 11:00PM

Hard to look past Super High


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The only good reason to wager against Super High on Friday at Hollywood Park is depressed odds. The 3-year-old filly will start at even money or less, and should not lose the $100,000 California Sires Stakes.

"It's a pretty good spot for the purse, isn't it?" said trainer Carla Gaines. In fact, the filly division of the Cal Sires came up even weaker than the Cal Sires colt division scheduled for Thursday. Friday, Super High faces two maidens, two who won maiden-claiming races, and a sprinter who won a maiden race only six days earlier.

Super High has won two races and $139,688 from six starts for owner-breeder John Harris, and blossomed when Gaines stretched her out for her fifth career start. Super High won by six lengths, and was subsequently favored in the $200,000 Melair Stakes on April 28. At odds of 7-5, she finished second.

"I was very disappointed, I didn't think there was anything in the race that could beat her the way she was training," Gaines said. Expectations will be high again Friday, when the main question for Super High is whether or not she will handle grass. Her six previous starts were on dirt; Gaines enters confident.

"As far as the grass, she's breezed really nicely on it," Gaines said, adding that jockey Chris McCarron worked her once on the grass, and said she worked great.

Super High was sired by High Brite, but her primary turf influence will come from her dam, Image of Super. Super High is a half-sister to To B. Super, whose three starts on grass included a win in the La Habra Stakes and Grade 3 Senorita.

McCarron rides Super High, the fastest filly in the race. Bettors unwilling to take the short price will find one sensible alternative. Shalini finished 19 lengths behind Super High last out on dirt, but trainer Craig Dollase anticipated going in that Shalini was more effective on grass.

In her previous start on turf, Shalini finished fourth in a race she would have won with a clear trip. Shuffled out of position at the three-eighths, and blocked the final sixteenth, Shalini finished only 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner.

Shalini's speed figures place her at a disadvantage to the favorite, but the surface may prove the equalizer. Tyler Baze rides Shalini.

Other starters are Bob's Lady and recent maiden winner Kingdom Bound.

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