06/04/2002 11:00PM

Kalookan Queen set to turn tables


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A year ago, Go Go was a half-length better than Kalookan Queen in the Desert Stormer Handicap at Hollywood Park. Then, both fillies were in top form.

Those two renew their rivalry in Friday's $100,000 Desert Stormer Handicap over six furlongs, but bettors may be reluctant to predict the same one-two finish.

In the last eight months, their careers have gone in different directions.

Last summer Go Go went to the sidelines with ankle problems. A 5-year-old, Go Go has made one start since her return, finishing fourth in the B Thoughtful Stakes for statebred females on April 28. It was her first start since she finished second to Kalookan Queen in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar last summer.

Kalookan Queen stayed in training through the winter and enhanced her reputation by winning three stakes, including the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap against males at Santa Anita on March 30.

Trainer Warren Stute is hoping that Go Go's recent training is an indication that she has returned to her 2001 form, which included five stakes wins and two-second place finishes from seven starts.

"I'm sure she got tired," Stute said of Go Go's race in the B Thoughtful. "It was tough over seven-eighths in her first race back. Sometimes it takes them a race or two to get back in shape, no matter how you train them. But she's doing well, and I expect her to do well.

"Hopefully, she'll win, but I've learned not to plan too far ahead."

While Go Go is best from a stalking position, Kalookan Queen is more versatile. She led throughout the Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap over seven furlongs at Santa Anita in January, and stalked the pace in the Potrero Grande over 6 1/2 furlongs. She figures to be near the lead in the Grade 3 Desert Stormer.

The longshots Warren's Whistle and Verruma will come from off the pace early, while Rolly Polly, who won the Las Cienegas Handicap on turf at Santa Anita, can be close to the pace.

Slewsbox, a shipper from Golden Gate Fields, races near the lead.

The 5-year-old Slewsbox had a five-race winning streak, all stakes, end on May 4 when she finished a troubled second as a heavy favorite in the Woodside Handicap at Bay Meadows. She was blocked in midstretch and could not reach the winner, Fancee Bargain, once she found room.

The Desert Stormer Handicap marks her graded stakes debut.

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