01/30/2008 12:00AM

Hawaiian Afleet can end Josephson's drought


ALBANY, Calif. - Since a disappointing debut, Hawaiian Afleet has turned into a decent prospect, and trainer Jedd Josephson hopes her development will continue Friday in a $40,000 starter allowance at Golden Gate Fields.

A 3-year-old Northern Afleet filly, Hawaiian Afleet was ninth and last in her debut, a $62,500 maiden-claiming sprint at Hollywood Park on Nov. 18. She won her next start, finishing well in a $32,000 maiden claimer at six furlongs at Hollywood on Dec. 15.

Shipped north, Hawaiian Afleet was favored in a strong $40,000 starter allowance field at one mile here, and ran second to Green Lite Honey on Jan. 10.

Hawaiian Afleet drew post 5 in the field of nine fillies going 1 1/16 miles over the Tapeta on Friday. Joyful Me, who might have been favored following a strong maiden sprint win in her last start, will be scratched after coming down with a 103-degree temperature earlier in the week.

Josephson took over the training of Hawaiian Afleet after her Jan. 10 race. He has given her an easy 37.60-second three-furlong maintenance drill as well as steady gallops since her last start.

"She ran well over the track so we wanted to give her another start here," he said, explaining why she stayed in Northern California.

With her stalking style, Hawaiian Afleet should get a good trip sitting off Rathsallagh Bride and Teacher's Rule.

A victory would snap a meet-long slump for Josephson, who is 0 for 33 with 4 seconds and 10 thirds.

Recent maiden winners Heart's Music, Teacher's Rule, and Unflattered, who finished three-quarters of a length behind Hawaiian Afleet on Jan. 10, appear to be Hawaiian Afleet's top rivals.

Ruby Haze, who finished a half-length behind Unflattered, and Rathsallagh Bride, who ended up a length behind Ruby Haze in that same race earlier this month, are also in the field.

* Russell Baze, who came into Thursday's card three wins shy of 10,000 for his career, is listed on seven mounts on Friday's card, but one of those is Joyful Me, who will not run.