06/23/2004 11:00PM

Laura's Lucky Boy imposing


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - With better prize money available in the 3-year-old turf division in coming months, Laura's Lucky Boy could have been held out of Saturday's $150,000 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park.

But his convincing win in the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes on May 22 has made it obvious to owner Ernie Moody and trainer Jason Orman that the colt deserves another start - now.

"He's doing well and we want to take advantage of it while we can," Orman said.

will be a strong favorite in the Grade 3 Cinema, run over 1 1/8 miles on turf. He will be attempting to win his fourth consecutive race, all on turf.

During the spring, Laura's Lucky Boy won a maiden race at Santa Anita and an allowance race at Hollywood before scoring a four-length win in the Will Rogers.

The second- and third-place finishers of the Will Rogers, Toasted and Street Theater, are not starting in the Cinema, but are expected to run in the Arlington Classic next weekend.

Even the trainers of the horses that will oppose Laura's Lucky Boy are not optimistic about their chances.

"I think we're all running for second if Laura's Lucky Boy shows up with his 'A' game," said trainer Doug O'Neill, who starts Chubasco Red and Whilly.

Whilly finished eighth in the Italian Derby on May 30 and was scheduled to clear quarantine on Friday. He arrived from Italy in the middle of the week. Chubasco Red finished a fast-closing third in an $80,000 claimer over a mile on turf on June 6. The Cinema is his stakes debut.

Two leading contenders - Greek Sun and Unrivalled - won minor turf stakes at Santa Anita.

has not started since winning the Hill Rise Stakes over a mile on Dec. 29. Trained by Bobby Frankel, Greek Sun was rested after undergoing surgery to have a bone chip removed from a knee. Campaigned by Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, Greek Sun is unbeaten in two starts.

won the Pasadena Stakes over a mile in his U.S. debut on March 17. Trained by Jim Cassidy, Unrivalled has lost two subsequent starts, including a fifth as the 8-5 favorite in the USA Stakes at Lone Star Park on May 31.

They will all be trying to upset Laura's Lucky Boy, who can race on the lead or stalk the pace.

"He's a pretty versatile horse," Orman said. "He'll be tough if he runs his last race back."