09/05/2005 12:00AM

More closing-day dramatics?

Siphonizer will break from post 7 in a field of eight in Wednesday's Pirate's Bounty Handicap at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. - On the final day of the 2003 Del Mar meeting, Siphonizer scored his biggest - and only - stakes win in the Grade 2 Del Mar Futurity.

Two years later, Siphonizer starts on Wednesday's closing day at Del Mar as a contender in the $80,000 Pirate's Bounty Handicap over six furlongs.

"I hope he realizes the significance" of the anniversary, trainer Richard Mandella said.

The Pirate's Bounty is one of two minor stakes on the undercard of the Del Mar Futurity program. In the $80,000 CERF Handicap, Freakin Streakin, the runner-up in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap on Aug. 19, will be favored to win her first stakes.

has battled injury and illness the last two years, but is making his sixth start of 2005 in the restricted Pirate's Bounty. In his last start, Siphonizer finished second in an optional claimer over 5 1/2 furlongs Aug. 24, but was disqualified and placed third for causing interference in the stretch.

"I thought it was his best race so far," Mandella said. "He got a little tangled leaving there, but he finished nice."

Siphonizer starts from post 7 in a field of eight. The only 2005 stakes winner in the field is Areyoutalkintome, who won the Grade 3 El Conejo Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 2. Areyoutalkintome has lost his last six appearances in stakes.

Three starters are coming off wins, including Bordonaro, who has won his last four starts. Trained by Bill Spawr, Bordonaro, 4, has won two optional claimers at this meeting.

makes his first start since being claimed for a Del Mar record $125,000 by John and Allegra Ernst and trainer Dan Hendricks on July 22. Smoocher was second in an optional claimer that day.

The attention attracted by the claim has surprised Hendricks.

"You buy a horse for $125,000 out of the sale and it's no big deal," he said. "You claim one for $125,000, it is a big deal. It's kind of funny that way."

Hendricks said he had considered Monday's Windy Sands Handicap at over a mile for Smoocher, but opted for the Pirate's Bounty, hoping the shorter race will help Smoocher's stalking style.

"The Pirate's Bounty looks like it has a lot of speed, and there are three or four that can win it," Hendricks said. "Hopefully, we made the right choice."

Smoocher will be trying for his first stakes win since the 2003 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes at Woodbine.

The CERF Stakes is run over six furlongs for fillies and mares.

, who starts from post 4 in a field of nine, was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Behaving Badly in the Rancho Bernardo. She rallied from last after a poor start in the field of eight and was traveling well at the finish.

Freakin Streakin is trained by Julio Canani, who also starts Abounding Truth, who was second in the Daisy Cutter here on turf last time out.