11/18/2005 12:00AM

Just the right distance for Bettarun Fast


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The $100,000 Moccasin Stakes on Sunday at Hollywood Park is a neat little seven-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies, and a virtual chalk-fest - nine of the last 10 winners returned 3-1 or less, and six were favorites.

The Moccasin payoffs match its historical insignificance. Though it is run four weeks before the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet at 1 1/16 miles, the Moccasin has had a negligible impact on the juvenile filly division. Magical Maiden in 1991 was the last Moccasin starter to win the Starlet.

The Moccasin-Starlet double figures to be just as tough this fall, because most Moccasin contenders are bred to sprint. Asked about Bettarun Fast's chance to stretch out Dec. 18 in the Starlet, trainer Vladimir Cerin summed it up: "She's by Kelly Kip," an extremely fast graded-stakes-winning sprinter.

Seven furlongs is just right for , and she is a deserving favorite Sunday in a competitive field of eight that includes Private World, who has 2 wins in 2 starts, including the Anoakia Stakes; Cotton Bay, who won her debut with a 90 Beyer Speed Figure; Catch My Fancy, who drops from the Grade 1 Frizette; and outsiders Steppin Out Rose, True Xena, My Little Monkey, and Mimosa Mist.

After winning her first three at Calder, Bettarun Fast hit minor problems in California. First, she got sick; then her training was interrupted by rain. Despite setbacks, Bettarun Fast went favored in the Anoakia and ran well. She pressed the pace three wide, made the lead in midstretch, then weakened and lost by three-quarters to Private World.

Despite the compromising circumstances, Bettarun Fast earned an 82 Beyer, only 3 points less than the Moccasin Beyer par of 85. Bettarun Fast has not missed a beat since the Anoakia and can win Sunday with a pressing trip under Martin Pedroza.

won her debut Sept. 5 at Del Mar, but trainer Bob Hess figured he was in trouble based on the final time - a slow 1:11.60 for six furlongs that earned a 63 Beyer. But second time out, Private World improved a ton and won the Anoakia with a rail trip and an 84 Beyer. Private World tries for her third straight Sunday.

, by Yes It's True, has recovered since coming out of the Frizette sick, and her first two wins, both runaways, qualify her to win the Moccasin. Cotton Bay, by El Corredor, enters as the high-figure filly, having earned a 90 when she won her debut.

The Moccasin goes as race 8 on the nine-race card.