12/15/2006 12:00AM

Horse of the day for 12/14


Hollywood Park - Race 8
6 Furlongs
Maiden Claiming (25-22.5)
3-year-olds and upward, fillies and mares
Purse $14,000

Don't think that TWIGHTLIGHTSPIRIT has to be much to defeat this maiden claiming crew first-out. The unraced dam cost 150K at auction, and is a half-sister to Grade 2 turf winner Irish Warrior. The second dam was Grade 3-placed at two, and trainer Richard Matlow is 5-24 (21%, $3.49 ROI according to Formulator 4.1) over the past five years with older firsters in maiden claiming races. SLEW'S PRAYER earned the field's top non-turf Beyer Speed Figure two back when attempting to go against the grain of an outside closer's bias. She worked hard every step of the way, and was flattered when the runner-up returned to graduate with a 76 Beyer while the ninth-finisher came back to win with a 67. She has a tendency to get a bit rank coming out of the gate, however, and must avoid a duel with logical contender ACTS LIKE REIGN. That one contested a hot pace with a $4.20 winner in first start off a long, long layoff, and trainer Mike Mitchell is 5-9 (56%, $4.42 ROI) over the past five years with older maiden claiming sprinters making the second start following a layoff line. Acts Like Reign must hustle from the far outside post, but she could loom the main speed in this spot, and must be respected in multi-race and exotic wagers. HAPPY CELYNA made a huge outside move down the backstretch at Fairplex three back, and was forced even wider turning for home. Thought she would run better in the slower division of maiden claimers last time, but she will repeat the Santa Anita to Hollywood off a layoff move that produced a runner-up finish in May. LOVE MY ROSE shows a quick five furlong workout in preparation for her second lifetime start, and can show good speed in this spot.

The selection: Twightlightspirit to win and place (4-1 odds or more)