07/03/2002 11:00PM

McAnally drought can end at last


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - In a little more than 90 seconds on Saturday, Innit or Old Money can end months of disappointment for trainer Ron McAnally with a victory in the $100,000 Royal Heroine Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Both have won important stakes previously - Innit in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap in 2001; Old Money in three major stakes in Australia in 2000 - but have not shown that form recently.

Innit did not start from August 2001 to May 26 because of an ankle injury. In her comeback, she finished fourth in an allowance race on turf as a heavy favorite.

"She was trapped the whole way," McAnally said. "She was plenty fit for that race."

Old Money has not won in three starts since she scored a convincing victory in an allowance race at Santa Anita last January. Each of her losses has come in major stakes, including a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap at Santa Anita on Feb. 18.

"Hopefully, she'll run the way she did the first time over here," McAnally said.

In her most recent start, the Australian-bred Old Money finished sixth under Eddie Delahoussaye in the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap on May 27 after leading to the final turn.

"Last time, Eddie put her on the lead, which I don't think she liked," McAnally said.

McAnally emphasized that Old Money will not lead in the Royal Heroine. "Even if they go the half in 50 seconds, no way," McAnally said.

A victory will not be easy in the Royal Heroine, which is run over a mile on turf for fillies and mares.

The Grade 3 race has drawn 12 entrants, including Eurolink Raindance, the winner of the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap on April 26; Reine de Romance, a sharp allowance race winner on June 6; and Surya, an impressive maiden winner for trainer Bobby Frankel in her lone start of 2002 on May 5.

Many of the leading contenders are closers who will need racing luck to weave through traffic in the final three furlongs. Reine de Romance and Cozzy Corner, a New York invader, figure to be nearer to the pace and may have an advantage.

Innit will be ridden by Alex Solis, who replaces the retired Chris McCarron. Innit is a closer who used such tactics in the Honeymoon Handicap, which remains her lone win in six starts in the United States.

"She's coming up to this as good as she can be," McAnally said. "The boys keep coming back in the mornings and telling me how good she is."

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