04/27/2007 12:00AM

Memorette moving closer to $1 million


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Memorette will start as a favorite in Sunday's $150,000 Fran's Valentine Stakes at Hollywood Park, a race that will probably help trainer Bill Currin reach one of the two goals he has set for the 5-year-old mare in 2007.

A winner of 4 of 25 starts and $746,753, Memorette is the most accomplished among the eight filly-mare entrants in the Fran's Valentine, which is run over 1 1/16 miles on turf.

But Currin is aiming higher. "I have two tasks with her," he said. "One is to make a million dollars. The other is to win a Grade 1."

The Fran's Valentine Stakes has a first-place purse of $90,000, which would help the goal of reaching seven figures in earnings. If Memorette runs well in the Fran's Valentine, she could start in the Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 28, Currin said.

"We won the Fran's Valentine last year and we thought it would be a good place to go again this year," Currin said. "She's in very top form and I expect her to run quite well."

Memorette has made two starts this year, finishing second in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park in January and third behind Gamely hopeful Citronnade in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap at Santa Anita in March.

"That race was like a Grade 1," Currin said of the Santa Ana.

In the Fran's Valentine, Memorette has a formidable opponent in Dancing General, the winner of the Pro or Con Handicap for statebreds at Santa Anita on April 8. Trained by Rafael Becerra, Dancing General won her first stakes in the Pro or Con, which was run over a mile, a distance that was probably at the shorter end of her best trip.

"This distance is better for me," Becerra said of the 1 1/16 miles of the Fran's Valentine. "She did what she was supposed to do last time. She's sharper since her last race."

The Fran's Valentine is the stakes debut for Nashoba's Key, a 4-year-old by Silver Hawk trained by Carla Gaines. She won two turf races earlier this year - a maiden race over a mile and an allowance race over 1 1/8 miles. Both races were against California-breds.

Nashoba's Key drew the rail and will be ridden by Garrett Gomez, who was aboard for her previous wins.

Three other mares are each coming off a win in an optional claimer - Gentle Charmer, Easy Obsession, and Yearly Attitude. Easy Obsession is seeking her first win on turf, but has run well on the surface.