08/22/2006 11:00PM

Memorette looks to be on upswing

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DEL MAR, Calif. - This has been a career-defining year for Memorette, a 4-year-old filly trained by Bill Currin. She won her first graded stakes in the Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park in June and won a stakes against statebreds back in April.

This fall, Currin is hoping that Memorette can become a Grade 1 winner in the $400,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Oak Tree at Santa Anita in October. He has chosen Friday's $85,000 CTT and TOC Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf at Del Mar as a prep.

Memorette has started once at this meeting, finishing fifth in the Grade 1 John Mabee Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on turf on July 22. She stalked the pace and ran well late, finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner, Dancing Edie. Memorette has had three quick workouts since that race, including five furlongs in 59 seconds on Sunday.

Memorette should be suited to the distance. She had no trouble with 1 1/4 miles on turf in the Beverly Hills Handicap.

"My filly likes to chase horses," said a confident Currin. "She likes to play a game with them and then whip them."

Memorette will be tested in Friday's race. The race has several contenders, including Aubonne, Candy Factory, and Tahtheeb.

Aubonne finished second against males in the restricted Escondido Handicap at 1 3/8 miles on turf on Aug. 2, her first start since April. A stakes winner in France in 2004, Aubonne won the La Zanzara Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita in January.

Candy Factory is proven over this course, having won the 2005 Solana Beach Handicap for statebred fillies and mares. She was fourth in an optional claimer here on July 24. That race has proven to be productive. Polyfirst and Lock and Key, who were second and third, have returned to win.

Trainer Dan Hendricks said that Candy Factor could start in the California Cup Distance Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on turf at the Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 28 if she takes to the distance of Friday's race.

Tahtheeb won her first race in the United States in an optional claimer at 1 3/8 miles on turf on Aug. 11. Trained by Ben Cecil, she has made three starts in the United States.

Tahtheeb will be coupled in the betting with Aubonne, because both are owned by Gary Tanaka.