11/08/2005 12:00AM

'Ladybug': Nice name, lousy post


CHICAGO - Calling all members of the Super Ladybug fan club. Hello? Anyone?

Yes, it is that kind of a fall Thursday at Hawthorne Race Course in southwest Chicago. The kind of November day when the sun sets early, and Super Ladybug is part of the nominally featured eighth race. The filly with one of the top-five names on the Chicago circuit was one of 11 Illinois-bred females entered in this entry-level route allowance.

was bred and is owned by Jeno Toke, and is trained by one Louis Hunkapiller. Kudos for coming up with a name not likely to be easily forgotten. As for the horse herself - she is in deep trouble Thursday. For starters, the eighth race is on dirt, and Super Ladybug began showing some spark this year when she was switched to grass racing. Moreover, Super Ladybug breaks from the far outside, the wrong place to be in route races at Hawthorne. Track announcer Peter Galassi is sure to give her at least one rousing call - if for no other reason than to say her name - but behind the sideshow curiosity of the moniker, Super Ladybug does not, alas, look like a major factor in this one.

That said, the race is ripe for a juicy upset. Tee Lak may be favored, since she finished second at odds of 4-1 in a race much like this one three weeks ago, and has made only seven starts, far fewer than many of her well-worn opponents. But Tee Lak, from the barn of trainer Terrel Gore, has post 9 and perhaps just enough early speed to get hung wide on the first turn.

is one of four horses exiting the same race. Also among them is Mz. Winjum, who finished last by almost 30 lengths as the odds-on favorite in that Oct. 20 race. Mz. Winjum clearly was not herself that day, and can reasonably be expected to bounce back to a more typical performance level, but even then, Mz. Winjum always has been more a of a second-place kind of horse.

Others to consider are the rail-drawn , as well as Overstep, who is stepped up in class by trainer Brian Williamson after a determined conditioned-claiming win last time out.

And for those who would play unusual names, but don't care to take a flyer on Super Ladybug - there is always the stretch-out sprinter Pinksickle.