07/13/2004 11:00PM

'Lady' will be plenty warm


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - It should not be a surprise if jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. is vigorously galloping Lady Thatcher on the backstretch before Friday's fourth race at Hollywood Park.

The strategy is part of trainer Anthony Saavedra's plan to have Lady Thatcher ready for the $54,000 allowance race for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

The plan has already worked once at this meeting. On May 13, Lady Thatcher had a strong warm-up before an allowance race over the same distance and pulled a 34-1 upset under Valdivia.

In her next start, was tried in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Handicap on June 6, but her pre-race warm-up was not as extensive, according to Saavedra. She finished sixth of seven.

"We warm this mare up a mile to get her on her toes or she'll lag too far back," Saavedra said. "I want that. In her training in the mornings, you have to kick her for the first mile, and she drags you around for the second mile. He won't be blowing her out in the warm-up. She just needs a good long jog and a stiff gallop. She needs to get moving."

Owned by Dave and Elia Sivage, Lady Thatcher has won 3 of 19 starts in her career, including a minor stakes in Chile in December 2002. In five starts in this country, she has one victory and has been third in two other races.

Lady Thatcher has four rivals in Friday's race - Good Student, Honeypenny, Letra de Cambio, and Secret Corsage. They may contribute to a quick pace that would help Lady Thatcher's chances.

"If there is a hot enough pace, she will come running," Saavedra said.

Good Student is making her American debut. An Argentine import trained by Ron McAnally, Good Student has won 3 of 4 starts, including a Group 3 race over about seven furlongs on dirt last July. Good Student's only loss was a last-place finish in the Argentine 1000 Guineas last September. She returned to win an allowance race by 10 lengths Feb. 1, her most recent start.

Secret Corsage is likely to set the pace. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Secret Corsage, 3, placed in two minor stakes earlier this year in northern California. Letra de Cambio has also shown speed.

is winless in six starts, including a fifth in the Hawthorne. Most of her recent starts have been on turf.