05/25/2010 11:00PM

Little luck may be all El Nadia needs


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - El Nadia caught the attention of trainer Jerry Hollendorfer when she pulled a 54-1 upset in a $40,000 claimer at Santa Anita in February.

More than three months, and three races later, El Nadia has yet to repeat that win, but has shown promising signs. A second win in 2010 could occur in Friday's seventh race at Hollywood Park, a first-level allowance for fillies and mares over a mile on turf.

A little luck will help her chances, according to Dan Ward, Hollendorfer's assistant. El Nadia was fourth in an optional claimer at Santa Anita on April 10 and second as the 4-5 favorite in a similar race here on May 5.

"There was no pace and she pulled a lot," Ward said, recalling the April 10 race. "We kind of overcompensated in her next start. We took her back and she was way back."

On May 5, El Nadia finished 4 1/4 lengths behind Oui Say Oui, the first time that jockey Rafael Bejarano was aboard the 7-year-old mare. Bejarano has the mount again on Friday.

"He knows her now," Ward said. "The race should have been good for her."

El Nadia began her career in New Zealand, where she had 1 win in 25 starts. She joined Steve Knapp's stable last fall and made her first start for him before being sold to a partnership that includes Hollendorfer.

Friday, Knapp starts the 4-year-old Terrify. She was third behind El Nadia on May 5 and has drawn the rail in a field of eight, which includes Lady Francesca, who was third in her United States debut at Santa Anita on April 10; Ruffled Feather, who was second in the B Thoughtful Stakes for statebred females here on April 24, and two 4-year-old fillies trained by John Sadler -- Americas Dreaming and Entabeni.

Americas Dreaming is making her first start for Sadler, having been previously trained by James Toner. She was second in two turf races at Tampa Bay Downs and Gulfstream Park in March.

"This will be a bit of a learning curve," Sadler said.

Entabeni was second by a nose in a $35,000 claimer on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita on April 8.

"This is a little up" in class, Sadler said. "We need to see where she fits."