04/30/2002 11:00PM

Lycitus has the class, must overcome layoff

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Lycitus is not quite of the same quality as Suances, but the two Darrell Vienna-trained European imports do share one frustrating similarity. The American debut of both horses was delayed nearly two years.

Suances has emerged as one of California's top turf runners following his long-delayed victory Saturday in the Grade 2 San Francisco Mile. Meanwhile, Lycitus makes his U.S. debut in Friday's seventh race at 1 1/16 miles on turf. It will be the first start since October 2000 for Lycitus, a Group 3 winner in Europe who has not raced since a seventh-place finish in the Canadian International.

"We had problems; nothing really serious, but a number of things that required three or four months off," Vienna said. "He's doing great now, but he probably needs a start. I really think he needs a mile and a half."

Lycitus has won 3 of 6, and even if he needs a longer distance, entrymate Enthorchado - away for a year - has a firm look in the three-other-than/optional $100,000 claiming race.

Lycitus is the class of the race, though Entorchado may command equal billing. That is because Enthorchado proved he runs well fresh in the fall of 2000, when he returned from a seven-month layoff and won two straight on the Hollywood course.

Harrisand starts for the second time following a layoff and will be among the contenders, along with the Richard Mandella-trained South American import Investor's Dream.

Harrisand will benefit from a recent prep race in which he chased a gate-to-wire winner while starting for the first time since last summer's Travers Stakes. Harrisand is trained by Bobby Frankel.

A field of nine entered race 7, the second of two allowances on the card.

In race 5, promising allowance runner Fleetstreet Dancer makes his first start since last May, in a 5 1/2-furlong turf race that attracted a field of eight. The two-other-than/optional $62,500 claimer also attracted imported Sporting Lad, Thyer's, Pacing the Cage, Outstanding Hero, and Vienna-trained El Curioso.

Fleetstreet Dancer won 2 of 5 last spring, but was injured and sidelined before joining the 3-year-old stakes ranks. Trained by Ray Bell, Fleetstreet Dancer, by Smart Strike, has worked well for his return.

Fleetstreet Dancer faces modest European import Sporting Lad, late-runner El Curioso, and consistent Outstanding Hero in the sprint.

* Vienna said Suances is likely to make his next start June 15 in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at 1 1/4 miles, though he will be considered for Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on May 27. Vienna also won the Grade 3 Hawthorne Handicap on Saturday with Queen of Wilshire.