07/19/2005 12:00AM

House of Fortune to try the grass

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House of Fortune hasn't won a race this year, so her trainer, Ron McAnally, is experimenting with a start on turf in Thursday's allowance feature.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Trainer Ron McAnally is at wit's end with House of Fortune. Last year, she was one of the leading 3-year-old fillies in the country, with victories in the Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks and Fantasy Stakes. This year, however, she is winless in four starts, and has finished in the money just once.

"She's been working well, but she's not running that good," McAnally said Tuesday morning at Del Mar.

In an effort to perk up House of Fortune, McAnally will experiment with racing her on the turf for the first time, in Thursday's featured seventh race at Del Mar, a money allowance with a purse of $72,000. Eight are entered in the one-mile grass race, including Penny's Fortune, who won a stakes last fall at Bay Meadows and at Hollywood Park.

is the most accomplished runner in the race, but her dicey current form and uncertainty over how she will do on turf makes her a difficult read.

McAnally worked House of Fortune once on the turf, at Hollywood Park on July 14. According to McAnally, exercise rider Paddy Dalton told him "she was changing leads a lot and looking around."

Penny's Fortune has not raced since January, when she finished fourth in the El Encino Stakes on the dirt. That start convinced her trainer, Jenine Sahadi, to keep her on the turf, but Sahadi said the wet winter weather at Santa Anita forced her to give Penny's Fortune an extended vacation.

"I decided not to train through the mud and rain," Sahadi said Tuesday. "Once it became apparent she wasn't going to miss anything, I just gave her 2 1/2 or 3 months off."

won her lone start on the Del Mar turf last summer.

is racing in the best form of her career, and comes off a third-place finish in the Royal Heroine Stakes at Hollywood Park, behind Grade 1 winners Intercontinental and Ticker Tape. She also won on this course last summer.

Fencelineneighbor fits well in this spot. She has finished first or second in 15 of 30 lifetime starts.

The French import Flip Flop has lived up to her name. She won her first start in this country at Hollywood Park on May 13, but 17 days later finished last in the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap.