06/26/2006 11:00PM

Hard-luck mare is up for sale in sprint


Between physical problems and having to face tough opposition, fate has been unkind to Please Lord, the likely favorite Thursday at the Alameda County Fair in a $12,500 claiming race for those who have not won two races. The six-furlong race attracted six fillies and mares.

No one who saw when she began her career as a 3-year-old in April of 2004 would have pictured her running for this type of claiming tag. She came within a neck of beating the talented Madrone in an allowance race in her debut. Madrone ran third in the Stanford in her next start.

Please Lord dueled head-and-head with Capitola, who went on to win over $190,000, in her second start before losing by three-quarters of a length, then made her first trip to the sidelines.

Following 4 1/2 months on the bench, she won her maiden, beating Mahalo, who went on to place in stakes, among others. She lost to multiple stakes winner Vaca City Flyer and the stakes winner Beezer later during her 3-year-old year before suffering an injury that sidelined her for 16 months.

Third in her April comeback for a $20,000 tag and then second in a pair of $40,000 starter allowance races, Please Lord has failed to live up to her original promise, prompting her high-percentage trainer Brian Koriner, also a partial owner, to drop her into a spot where she seems as likely to be claimed as to win.

"We've had her a long time," Koriner said. "She's had nothing but problems and really can't compete with better runners now. It's just the unfortunate things that happen to a lot of horses to keep them from running to their full potential.

"If we lose her, we lose her."

Among her rivals is the 3-year-old , who has shown improvement in each of her three starts. She is coming off a $12,500 maiden claiming win, pulling away late after battling on the pace to the lane.