04/23/2003 11:00PM

Jetinto Houston can live up to promise


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Jetinto Houston made her first start for the Team Valor Syndicate and trainer Jenine Sahadi in the Irish O'Brien Stakes at Santa Anita on March 16, and roared from off the pace to post a convincing five-length win.

The race set future expectations at a high level.

When Jetinto Houston starts in Saturday's $150,000 B. Thoughtful Stakes at Hollywood Park anything less than a victory will be considered a disappointment.

"She's been working great and looks awesome," Sahadi said. "I don't have one knock on her."

The 4-year-old Jetinto Houston figures to be a strong favorite in the seven-furlong B. Thoughtful for California-bred older fillies and mare.

While Jetinto Houston has never won at the distance, the trip is unlikely to cause a problem since she was pulling away from the field in the Irish O'Brien against state-bred fillies and mares.

The race will have a familiar look for handicappers. Broke in Blairsden and Icantgoforthat, second and third behind Jetinto Houston in the Irish O'Brien, return for the B. Thoughtful.

Also entered is Cee's Elegance, winner of the Cat's Cradle Handicap at 7 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park last November. She has finished second in two subsequent starts at 1 1/16 miles - the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap and the Sunshine Millions Distaff. Brite Sunny Day and Sweetcakesanshakes, both last- out winners at Santa Anita, are looking for their first stakes victories.

Broke in Blairsden, a late runner, has run well in recent stakes races, finishing third in the Work the Crowd and Orinda handicaps at Golden Gate Fields in January.

They will all be in pursuit of Icantgoforthat, a confirmed front-runner. A 4-year-old, Icantgoforthat is having a solid season for owner Andy Broberg and co-owner and trainer Steve Knapp.

Icantgoforthat won the Survive Stakes for statebred mares in January before finishing ninth in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Gulfstream Park.

Resuming her season at Santa Anita, she rebounded with a third-place finish in the Irish O'Brien and a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap in which she was beaten three lengths by the well-regarded Heat Haze at about 6 1/2 furlongs on turf April 5.

Knapp was even more impressed with the Las Cienegas when he realized that Icantgoforthat lost a shoe shortly after the start. Fortunately, the foot suffered no damage.

Knapp is willing to win or lose on the lead. The style worked for a 9-1 upset in the Survive, but failed in the Irish O'Brien when she was pressured early.

"I think the track beat us that day," Knapp said. "It was a heavy track. We were stuck on the inside."