07/19/2005 11:00PM

Kalookan Lessie the hot one

Email

DEL MAR, Calif. - Trainer Doug O'Neill may have been the person most surprised by Kalookan Lessie's five-length win in her debut at Hollywood Park on June 22. Not that the result bothered him.

"I didn't think she'd do that first time out," O'Neill said. "I didn't see that coming."

The win has made Kalookan Lessie the favorite in Friday's $125,000 California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes at Del Mar.

has drawn the rail, and she may have enough speed to overcome what is likely to be a very quick pace. O'Neill said she is capable of leading throughout.

"She's training great," O'Neill said. "It would take a quick horse to outduel her."

The CTBA Stakes drew nine fillies, but no stakes winners. The race is run over 5 1/2 furlongs and restricted to 2-year-old California-bred fillies.

Bid of Genius and Smart Kitten, who finished second and third in the Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton on July 2, are the only starters who have placed in stakes. Fun Logic, Harbor's Halo, and Third Date Kate are maidens.

is making her racing debut. Trained by Eric Kruljac, Third Date Kate was purchased in January for $45,000. She has worked quickly at Santa Anita, including a half-mile in 44.80 seconds on July 13, the fastest of 42 recorded works at the distance.

The addition of blinkers improved . She lost her first three before pulling an upset at 44-1 in a June 15 maiden race for $40,000 claimers at Hollywood Park. The winning race was her second start with blinkers.

"She'd run a couple of bad races," trainer Jerry Dutton said. "She'd drawn the inside and didn't like it."

Bid of Genius drew post 6 in the CTBA Stakes, which should give her a good stalking trip.

was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by the winner, Hystericalady, in the Gonzalez. Trained by Don Warren, she won a maiden special weight race over 4 1/2 furlongs at Golden Gate Fields on June 4 in her debut.

The mount of Alex Solis, Smart Kitten is expected to be near the front.