06/11/2002 11:00PM

McLean hopes Double Shot Latte can stay hot


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Bill McLean has always liked Double Shot Latte.

"She's a nice-looking filly with a good style. She lays close to the front," McLean said.

It didn't take much urging when some of McLean's clients showed interest in claiming the 4-year-old filly. McLean claimed her for $20,000 on May 26 and brings her back for Friday night's co-feature, a six-furlong allowance race.

"That's about as high as we go," McLean said of the $20,000 price tag.

Though Friday's race appears tough, McLean is hopeful the filly can maintain her recent form. She has won two of her past four starts and missed by a nose to Rich Domino, one of her six rivals Friday night, in another start.

Double Shot Latte won that May 26 race by three-quarters of a length.

"It's nice to see them win when you put a claim in for them, unless they end up losing a condition," McLean said. "It's sure nice to see one win and not finish last."

Rich Domino, part of a Jerry Hollendorfer-trained entry with Crown of Creation, is likely to set the early pace, but there is enough speed with Comedy Class and Double Shot Latte that she seems unlikely to get an easy lead.

That's what happened two races back, when she set the pace while pressured by Double Shot Latte. Double Shot Latte stuck her head in front in the lane but was outfinished by Rich Domino.

In her last start, Rich Domino again set a pressured pace, was passed by Comedy Class in the lane and wound up third, a nose behind Comedy Class, who finished second, in a race at Friday's level.

Erica's Smile faces elders in turf sprint

In Friday's other feature, carded as the second race, six fillies and mares will run in a 4 1/2-furlong $40,000 optional claiming race on the turf.

High Bolly, who won at the distance at Golden Gate Fields on March 9, and Margarita Midnight, who won her turf debut in a 5 1/2-furlong race at Hollywood Park two starts back, are the only turf winners in the field of six.

The one to beat, though, could be Erica's Smile, a 3-year-old who will be facing older, after winning her comeback on May 23 exactly one year after she had won a maiden race.

Time to Leave attracts 13

Thirteen 2-year-old fillies were nominated for Saturday's $55,000-added Time to Leave Stakes at five furlongs.

Trainer Wesley Ward has nominated three - Hostility, Paint Me Quick and Phoenixledo, all of whom are winners.