Updated on 09/16/2011 8:06AM

Kalookan Queen vs. Go Go again


DEL MAR, Calif. - Bragging rights are at stake as Kalookan Queen and Go Go, two of the top sprinting females in the nation, meet for the fifth time in Sunday's $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar.

In four meetings over the last 14 months, each has finished in front of the other twice. Go Go and Kalookan Queen were 1-2 in the Desert Stormer Handicap at Hollywood Park in 2001, while Go Go won the 2001 A Gleam Handicap with Kalookan Queen only fourth.

In the last two meetings, the results have been different. Kalookan Queen won the 2001 Rancho Bernardo, finishing a head in front of Go Go. In the Desert Stormer Handicap two months ago, Kalookan Queen finished second to Slewsbox, while Go Go bled and finished sixth.

The two mares have started once each since Hollywood Park closed. Go Go won the Great Lady M. Handicap on turf on July 7, and Kalookan Queen was third in the A Gleam Handicap on July 14, behind Irguns Angels and Secret Liaison.

Despite the recent loss, Kalookan Queen is the 123-pound highweight in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo, run over 6 1/2 furlongs. Her wins this year in the Santa Monica Handicap and Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap against males, and her strong recent works over this track, will make her the favorite.

Bruce Headley, Kalookan Queen's trainer, is not concerned about the recent loss, crediting Irguns Angel with an outstanding performance. In addition, he says that Kalookan Queen has thrived over the Del Mar track.

"She needs to train on a track similar to the one at Santa Anita," Headley said. "Hollywood is some place beyond the universe of Mars. The surface is so different at Hollywood." Both Kalookan Queen and Go Go are versatile. They can win on the lead or a few lengths off the pace. In the Rancho Bernardo, they are expected to be a factor from the start against Warren's Whistle, who won the restricted Fantastic Girl Stakes here on Aug. 3 and was third in the 2001 Rancho Bernardo, and the longshots Ayanna and Fancee Bargain.

Go Go is seeking her first win at Del Mar in what will be her fifth start.

She has run well here, evidenced by her narrow loss as a heavy favorite in the 2001 Rancho Bernardo. On that day, Go Go was the 125-pound highweight, carrying six pounds more than Kalookan Queen. On Sunday, she will carry 122 pounds.

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