06/29/2005 11:00PM

Landaluce next step for River's Prayer


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Unbeaten in two starts and already a stakes winner, River's Prayer will be a short-priced favorite in Saturday's $100,000 Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park.

But the Landaluce, the championship race of the meeting for 2-year-old fillies, is not the summertime focus for River's Prayer as far as trainer and co-owner Paula Capestro is concerned. She considers the Landaluce a prep for the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante on Aug. 27 and the top races in the fall.

"I really think she can go all the way," Capestro said. "Our main goal is the Debutante."

First, has eight rivals in the Landaluce, run over six furlongs. She may only face seven. Trainer Christopher Paasch said that Diplomat Lady, the winner of a maiden race June 15, might not run. Her absence would leave My Lucky Free, Indian Breeze, and Sarah's Hart as the leading opponents for River's Prayer.

finished second to River's Prayer in the Cinderella Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs on June 4. The Cinderella marked My Lucky Free's first start for University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, who purchased her privately in early June. Rafael DeLeon trains My Lucky Free, who beat maidens by two lengths in her debut May 19.

Indian Breeze and Sarah's Hart have each started only once, winning maiden races.

led throughout a five-furlong sprint June 1, beating Calamity June, who returned to win a maiden race on Wednesday.

beat statebred maidens by five lengths in a five-furlong race June 2. She rallied from fourth to win convincingly.

While those three fillies have promising futures, they have not progressed as far as River's Prayer. In both of her races, a five-length maiden win and a 3 1/2-length win in the Cinderella, River's Prayer won without being extended.

"Mentally, she is real cool," Capestro said. "She's a real pro for a young horse."

Capestro has made two changes for the Landaluce. She received permission from the stewards to add blinkers to River's Prayer - a rarity for a horse after a win - and has replaced jockey Felipe Martinez with Alex Solis.

"We put Alex Solis on her because we want her to relax as much as we can to stretch out," Capestro said. "Alex has worked her. He told me you can't move on her. When you move on her, she goes."