06/05/2008 11:00PM

Million Dollar Run faces two-turn test


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - One month after a powerful victory in the seven-furlong, Grade 2 Railbird Stakes, lightly raced Million Dollar Run tries to stretch her speed to 1 1/16 miles Sunday in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks.

If she can stay two turns, she is the biggest cinch on the Hollywood Park program.

"The way she handled seven-eighths the other day, I don't think [distance] will be a problem," trainer Marcelo Polanco said.

Although eight other 3-year-old fillies entered the Oaks, Million Dollar Run's crushing Railbird suggests they are running for second.

Million Dollar Run went into the Railbird as a longshot maiden and came out as the fastest main-track filly in California. She pressed a blazing 44.45-second half, cruised to the lead at the head of the lane, and then ran away late to win by 2 1/4 lengths in a meet-best 1:20.66 that earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure.

Was it a fluke? Polanco doesn't think so.

"She just showed so much class in training and does everything the right way," Polanco said. "Most of the time when you see a horse working you can see what kind of horse it is."

Polanco and Everest Stables owner Jeff Nielsen always suspected that Million Dollar Run was special; the issue Sunday is how far she will run.

"As soon as we won the Railbird, we were pointing to" the Oaks, Polanco said. "She has done everything the right way coming into this race. She's so relaxed - nothing gets her excited."

Joel Rosario rides Million Dollar Run, a daughter of Tejano Run who drew the inside post and enters as the controlling speed. Her last-start 96 Beyer matches the recent Oaks par and towers over her rivals. The main opponents for the likely favorite include stakes winners Lethal Heat, Bel Air Sizzle, and Tasha's Miracle.

Lethal Heat was the 6-5 favorite in the Railbird, but she stumbled at the start and finished third. It was her first loss in four starts, all sprints. The knock on Lethal Heat is that her style suggests she might be most effective as a late-running sprinter. Rafael Bejarano rides for trainer Barry Abrams, who also entered Bel Air Sizzle.

Tasha's Miracle finished second in the Railbird and figures to be positioned closest to the pacesetter; Tasha's Miracle lost ground in the stretch in all three starts around two turns.

Others entered in the Oaks include Divine Legacy, Gambler's Justice, Smooth Performer, Fire n' Brimstone, and Miss Singhsix.