11/01/2007 12:00AM

'Laura' as consistent as she is versatile

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - Whether she runs short or long, on turf or dirt, on synthetic surfaces or conventional dirt, all Somethinaboutlaura does is win, win, win.

"She's good at everything," her trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, said Thursday from Bay Meadows.

It's that consistency, achieved at a high level for several seasons, that will make Somethinaboutlaura the likely favorite on Saturday at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting in the $150,000 California Cup Matron Handicap for fillies and mares.

Eight are entered in the 1 1/16-mile Matron, but it appears to boil down to Somethinaboutlaura and another reliable runner, Bai and Bai. In a match race, though, speed is usually the way to go, and Somethinaboutlaura may have a decided advantage in a race that came up with little early heat.

Somethinaboutlaura will be seeking her sixth straight victory, and her seventh in her last eight races. A winner of 16 of 28 lifetime, Somethinaboutlaura has succeeded at distances ranging from six furlongs on dirt to 1o1/16 miles on turf in her last four starts.

"I just try to place her where she'll do well," Hollendorfer said. "She's done everything we've asked her to do."

Somethinaboutlaura did not race for three months before returning to beat stakes sprinters at Bay Meadows on Oct. 13. That was her first start since winning the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 6.

"I had her down at Del Mar, but she had a little problem handling that track," Hollendorfer said. "She wasn't going perfect. I had her in a race up here, but she was scratched in the post parade. She was a little off in one ankle. So I gave her a little more time, and now she's going great. I gave her a little sprint prep, and that should set her up well for the Matron."

Somethinaboutlaura carries top weight of 124 pounds, and will give as many as 10 pounds to her rivals. She concedes two pounds to Bai and Bai, who was third in the Grade 1 Lady's Secret last time out to Tough Tiz's Sis and another Hollendorfer runner, Hystericalady, who came back to finish second in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

"I thought she ran well in the Lady's Secret, and I was glad to see Hystericalady come back and run well in the Distaff," said Craig Dollase, the trainer of Bai and Bai. "She was just third-best in that race. She's consistent. She's pretty versatile, too, but I think a mile and a sixteenth is probably her best distance."

Bai and Bai has finished in the money in her last five starts, and has been first or second in 14 of 20 lifetime.

"She's very straightforward," Dollase said. "It's nice to get up and train one that gives 110 percent each day."

Romance Is Diane, a 3-year-old facing her elders, won the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies last year. She will need a hot pace to help her late run. She has a sharp series of drills heading into this race.

She's an Eleven was sixth and last in the Lady's Secret, her first start in more than a year.