03/25/2004 1:00AM

Hawthorne track report


Be Like Mike has suffered his share of setbacks in his brief career, but when the gray son of Unbridled's Song has run he has made a favorable impression. Be Like Mike is the likely favorite in a field of seven in Hawthorne's $34,000 feature, a four-other-than allowance race with a $50,000 claiming option.

Be Like Mike, from the barn of Niall O'Callaghan, did not get to the races until early in his 4-year-old season last year. After a disappointing debut, Be Like Mike was treated with Lasix and proceeded to win his next two starts, both at Gulfstream Park.

Be Like Mike did not race for more than two months after his Gulfstream wins because he had colic. Be Like Mike made a complete recovery and then won two of his next four starts, culminating in a wire-to-wire victory in the West Virginia Governors Handicap at Mountaineer on Aug. 9. In that stakes, Be Like Mike defeated M B Sea, who later scored an upset win in the Grade 3 Fayette at Keeneland.

Though he hasn't run since August, Be Like Mike has been working sharply at Payson Park in Florida for months and has a history of running well off the bench.

Without a Doubt could pose the strongest challenge to Be Like Mike. Without a Doubt got hot at Hawthorne last fall, winning three of his four starts. He, too, is coming off a layoff of several months.

Of those with recent activity, Did He Biteyou could move forward following a runner-up finish in his seasonal bow last month.