12/08/2007 12:00AM

Lady Gamer for real on synthetic

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - A return to the Cushion Track synthetic surface will make Lady Gamer a solid favorite in Sunday's $65,000 Playa Del Rey Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Lady Gamer has won 3 of 4 starts on synthetic tracks, including a win in the Valkyr Stakes against California-breds here in July, and finished third in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar during the summer.

Earlier this fall, Lady Gamer was second in two major turf stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting - the Grade 3 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap and the California Cup Distaff.

With a return to a synthetic track, trainer John Sadler expects a win from Lady Gamer in the Playa Del Rey, which is run at six furlongs for fillies and mares and has drawn a small field of five.

"We're anxious to get her back on the Cushion Track," Sadler said. "She ran well at Oak Tree but she was running more to the calendar in that we ran on grass."

Owned by breeders Clark and Janine Hansen, Lady Gamer, 4, has won 4 of 11 starts and $239,590. Her outstanding form on synthetic tracks, combined with the presence of leading trainer Sadler and leading jockey Garrett Gomez, will make her very attractive to bettors.

Sadler was enthused when Lady Gamer drew the outside post. Lady Gamer has shown the ability to lead, as she did in the Valkyr, or stalk the pace, which she did in an allowance race at 6 1/2 furlongs in December 2006.

"She has the speed to go or sit off the pace," Sadler said. "That gives us a couple of options."

The race has drawn three other stakes winners - Kalookan Dancer (2007 Pio Pico Stakes), Selvatica (a five-time stakes winner), and Royal Kleven (2006 California Distaff Turf Handicap at Bay Meadows). You Are the Answer, second in the Manhattan Beach Stakes in June, will make her first start since July.

Selvatica, 6, won the Bangles and Beads Stakes at Fairplex Park in September. Trained by Julio Canani, she has shown ample speed in her career, including a front-running win in the Desert Stormer Handicap here in May. In her last start, Selvatica was third in the Pine Tree Lane Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 20, fading through the final furlong.