02/20/2007 1:00AM

Livermore Valley in comeback


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Jim Ryerson was not intending to run his multiple stakes-winning filly Livermore Valley this winter. But through an odd set of circumstances, Ryerson will launch the filly's 4-year-old campaign Thursday in the $65,000 Stormy Krissy, an overnight stakes at six furlongs over Aqueduct's inner track.

Shortly after winning the Seton Hall Stakes last Nov. 11 at the Meadowlands, Livermore Valley was found to have an infection in a hind leg. When antibiotics failed to help, Ryerson was advised to put the filly back in training to see if that would help. When it did, the decision was made to keep her going, and after a month of solid breezing at Belmont, Livermore Valley is deemed fit and ready to run.

"She got a small nick in her last race, and it led to an infection three or four days after the race," Ryerson said. "It just held on, and the leg wouldn't respond for a while even with antibiotics. It required us to put her back into training to get it to where we wanted it."

Ryerson said he and owner Robert Hahn didn't want to ship Livermore Valley to Florida for the winter because she had undergone colic surgery between her 2- and 3-year-old seasons after shipping down there.

Livermore Valley, a Maryland-bred daughter of Mt. Livermore out of the 11-time stakes-winning mare Secret Prospect, had a solid 3-year-old campaign, winning four listed stakes and finishing third in the Grade 1 Prioress. She also ran well in the Grade 1 Test, beaten four lengths while finishing fifth in a race in which she had extreme trouble.

Livermore Valley broke from the rail that day and will do so again Thursday, something that concerns Ryerson.

"The one hole is a little difficult post," Ryerson said. "I think the rail killed her in the Test. If she's in an outside post that day, she's right there. It's good to get her back, good that the race went."

Alan Garcia, who has had nine multiple-win days from 12 full cards run here this month, has the mount on Livermore Valley.

With Secret Book and Candy Box in the field, there appears to be ample speed to set this up for Livermore Valley.

Another closer with a legitimate chance is Hailie's Girl, who was beaten only a head by Livermore Valley in a second-level allowance race at Philadelphia Park last spring. Trainer Guadalupe Preciado, who upset last Saturday's Dearly Precious Stakes with Special Dream, will send out Hailie's Girl with Eibar Coa up from the outside post.