03/17/2004 12:00AM

K O Love to get class test


ALBANY, Calif. - Trainer Kristin Mulhall won the Golden Gate Breeders' Cup Handicap with Tronare on Sunday, and she will try to make it two straight stakes victories at Golden Gate Fields when she sends K O Love in Saturday's $55,000-added Danville Handicap.

A 4-year-old colt, K O Love has run only once, winning his maiden May 30 at Bay Meadows. He earned a 105 Beyer, winning by nine lengths.

"We had some mental issues with him before that race," Mulhall said from her Santa Anita barn. "He was always a good-feeling horses, but he'd bolt when he ran in the morning."

Mulhall, 21, corrected that idiosyncrasy, and K O Love was everything she expected in his debut.

Mulhall wanted to give him time after his debut and found a race opening day at Del Mar, but K O Love developed a deep abscess in a foot a week before Del Mar opened.

"We couldn't get it out of his foot, and when we dug it out, we couldn't get the foot to grow back," she said.

He's finally back and working well and has, in Mulhall's words, "grown up a lot," both physically and mentally.

Still this is a tough spot for a comeback, let alone the second race of a colt's career.

Multiple stakes winners El Dorado Shooter and My Captain are waiting, as is Green Team, who has turned into a monster of late.

"There's a nonwinners-other-than down here, but I want to keep Bobby [Gonzalez] on the horse or I'd run in the race down here," Mulhall said from Southern California. "This is a tough race, but it comes with the territory of having a good horse. It will be interesting to see what happens when he's pressed on the front end."

'Frippery' looks to get over hump

Ten older fillies and mares meet in Friday's feature, a first-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Sweet Frippery has finished third, beaten less than a length, in each of her last two starts, both at Santa Anita for a $62,500 tag. She does have a victory in her lone race over the turf here and should get a good stalking trip Friday.

Heavenly Meeting has been freshened since an impressive maiden victory on Jan. 11 and has some good works since that race, although only one in the past four weeks.

* Kilgowan, the winner of Saturday's El Camino Real Derby, and O.K. Mikie will both run next in the April 3 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne. O.K. Mikie finished fastest in the El Camino Real, but wound up fourth, beaten less than one length.