11/12/2007 12:00AM

Masterpiece a likely single

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Alex Evers/Horsephotos
Masterpiece, Alonso Quinonez up, wins the Brubaker Handicap at Del Mar, his second start of 2007. He followed that with a second-place finish in the Robert Carey Memorial at Hawthorne.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Masterpiece, a stakes winner at Del Mar during the summer, will attempt to win his first race on a synthetic track in a $58,000 allowance race at Hollywood Park on Wednesday.

Many bettors may be banking on him to do that to make Wednesday's pick six a little easier. The bet begins with a $143,528 carryover from Sunday.

Trainer Peter Eurton has taken every precaution to have the 7-year-old Masterpiece ready for his fourth race of the year on Wednesday.

Each time that Masterpiece has a workout, he is sent to trainer Vladimir Cerin's home near Santa Anita for a pure oxygen treatment in a hyperbaric chamber that helps horses recover from strenuous exercise.

"I think he thinks he's going to a spa," Eurton said. "The day of his work, he's picked up at 11 or so and he goes in the chamber that day. The next morning, he goes back in it again. Then they pick him and bring him back to the barn."

The procedure has allowed Masterpiece to stay in training despite a severe bleeding problem. During the summer, Masterpiece won the restricted Brubaker Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar in his second start of 2007. He followed that race with a fourth-place finish in the Robert Carey Memorial Handicap at Hawthorne on Sept. 29, leading to the stretch before fading to finish three lengths behind Classic Campaign.

"I don't think he enjoyed it too much," Eurton said of the Chicago experience. "He was pulling from start to finish. It was like he wasn't getting a hold of it. He likes a quicker, shorter type of turf. You don't find that very much except here in California."

Wednesday's race will be Masterpiece's first start on a synthetic track since a fourth-place finish in an allowance race here in July, his first start of the year.

"He took the lead and hung on me, but he bled in the race," Eurton said. "I also felt that he might have needed a race anyway. He's a big, heavy horse."

Eurton said Masterpiece has trained well on the Cushion Track. "It's either run in this, or sit on him for another three, four, or five weeks" and wait for a turf race, he said.

Masterpiece drew the rail and has four opponents - Fly Dorcego, Mr. Katz, Sohgol, and Worchester - none of whom has won a stakes this year.

Sohgol was second in the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap on turf here in April and is making her first start on a synthetic track. She is the lone mare in the field of five.

The pick six covers the third through eighth races. There are three turf races and three on the synthetic main track.

The third race, a sprint for statebred maiden claimers, drew eight entrants, including class droppers L.A. Phil, Salah, The Ivan Show, and Wild Places.

Trainer Jeff Mullins has an excellent chance to win the fourth race, an optional claimer at 1 1/4 miles on turf. He starts Soupy and Stylin Cat, who won their last starts. There will be support for Mi Arcobaleno, beaten as the favorite at Santa Anita on Oct. 18.

The fifth race drew an oversubscribed field of 16 $10,000 claimers. The six-furlong race will be limited to 14 starters. Figuring to dominate the betting are Dark Past, a front-running winner on Nov. 2; Smokin Forest, a winner at Santa Anita on Oct. 25; and Manhattan Express, second in a $12,500 claimer on Oct. 17.

The sixth race has several contenders, including Seeking Answers, who has been second and first in two starts for Jack Carava. A closer, he must catch Minister Blair and the 9-year-old gelding Truly a Judge, who is winless in his last 10 starts.

Masterpiece runs in the seventh race, which is followed by a maiden race for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Likely to figure on many tickets are Amybelle, fourth in the Hidden Light Stakes on Oct. 26, and Wilshire Boulevard, a troubled ninth in her debut on Oct. 20.