06/05/2002 11:00PM

La Martina out to avenge April defeat


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - In the Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita on April 13, La Martina lost by a nose to Megahertz after the two traded the lead in the final strides. The loss still pains trainer Jenine Sahadi.

"I got beat this far," she said, holding her forefinger and thumb an inch apart. "She got bumped by Megahertz and there wasn't an inquiry."

Regardless of whether or not some midstretch bumping would have changed the outcome, La Martina has a chance to give Sahadi some revenge in Saturday's $200,000 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park.

The trouble is, the Grade 2 Honeymoon at 1 1/8 miles on turf has drawn a strong additional cast of 3-year-old fillies.

The first two Providencia finishers will be joined by Arabic Song, an improving filly trained by Neil Drysdale; Alozaina, a European import; and High Society, a stakes winner at Santa Anita.

Horses in the field are using the Honeymoon as a prep to the $500,000 American Oaks at 1 1/4 miles on turf on July 6.

Since the Providencia, Sahadi has had the Honeymoon in mind for La Martina, who is owned by Team Valor Stables. A stakes winner on turf at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, La Martina is making her first start at Hollywood since she ran a troubled fourth as the favorite in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes last November.

"I don't worry about her," Sahadi said. "She trains every day and never misses a day."

Megahertz, trained by Bobby Frankel for Michael Bello, has also had a light campaign this year. She won the Blue Norther and Some Sensation Stakes on turf earlier at the Santa Anita meeting, and has not started since the Providencia.

The likely pacesetter is High Society, winner of the La Habra Stakes at Santa Anita in March. Trained by Laura de Seroux, High Society was second as a heavy favorite in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakers on May 4.

Arabic Song has won two allowance races over a mile and 1 1/16 miles at this meet and will be trying 1 1/8 miles for the first time.

"The way she rates, I think she can go the distance," said Drysdale's assistant, John O'Donoghue.

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