06/17/2008 11:00PM

Kalookan Dancer begins year


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - By the time Kalookan Dancer made her 13th start of 2007 last December, the campaign had taken its toll. After winning the Pio Pico Stakes at Fairplex Park in September, her form dipped by year's end with bad losses in two stakes.

"We ran her a lot last year," trainer Walther Solis said. "I think it was too much."

A six-month break has rejuvenated Kalookan Dancer, Solis said. His opinion will be tested when she starts in a $58,000 allowance race going 6 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park on Friday evening.

Kalookan Dancer, 5, will be after the sixth win of her career in the allowance race, which drew a field of six. She was fifth in the Playa Del Rey Stakes for female sprinters here in December, but Solis said she should not be judged by that loss.

"She bled and we gave her some time off," he said.

Solis likes Kalookan Dancer's final workout for Friday's race - six furlongs in 1:12.40 on Saturday - but he is a little worried about the timing of the race.

"I wish I had another one or two more works," he said. "The race is a little early for her, but the conditions are hard to get."

Kalookan Dancer will be ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., who rode her to three wins in the last 15 months. Valdivia likely will have Kalookan Dancer on the lead, her usual style.

Kalookan Dancer may not face much pressure early. In the field are several fillies and mares that are better running from off the pace, including La Cocasse, who was second in the Bay Meadows Distaff Sprint in February, and Lemon Kiss, who has won her last two starts.

Lemon Kiss won an allowance race at a mile on turf at Golden Gate Fields in June 2007, but was sidelined for 11 months following that race because of a knee injury, according to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. She won her comeback in an optional claimer by four lengths going six furlongs at Bay Meadows on May 9.

Hollendorfer said Lemon Kiss's comeback win was a relief.

"Sometimes it's hard to see where the knee injury is going to go," he said. "Sometimes you have real good luck with them."

Lemon Kiss worked six furlongs in 1:11.40 on Monday, the fastest of 13 works at the distance.