04/15/2008 12:00AM

Much in To B. Devon's favor


ARCADIA, Calif. - Without a runner in the field, trainer Danny Velasquez had a rooting interest in the Grade 3 Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita on March 30.

When Lethal Heat won the sprint stakes for 3-year-old fillies, Velasquez was thrilled. Lethal Heat had beaten the Velasquez-trained To B. Devon on a day when To B. Devon had a troubled trip. The Santa Paula flattered To B. Devon's performance.

Velasquez will have a chance to cheer for his own filly on Thursday when To B. Devon starts in a $52,000 allowance race for statebred 3-year-old fillies over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course.

Velasquez said he believes that To B. Devon is good enough to win on Thursday.

"We probably should have won the race last time," Velasquez said.

On March 20, To B. Devon was in traffic in the stretch and beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Lethal Heat. To B. Devon has won 2 of 11 starts and $71,436.

In her lone stakes appearance, To B. Devon finished seventh in the Tiburon Stakes at Golden Gate Fields in January. The loss did not concern Velasquez, who said that To B. Devon was changing physically during the winter.

"I think during that time she was growing and getting a little more mature," he said. "I get on her a lot and she's getting bigger."

To B. Devon is seeking her first win on turf in her second start on surface. She has history on her side. Her dam, To B. Super, won the 1996 La Habra Stakes over the same course and distance.

Thursday's race marks the 2008 debut of Unusually Hot, who was eighth in the California Cup Juvenile Fillies last November. The race also is the first start on turf for Barbara's Love, who won a $40,000 claimer on March 27, and Suziqcutie, who was fourth in an allowance race on March 31.

My Maloof Rocker is seeking her third consecutive win on turf, a surface that has energized her career, according to trainer Adam Kitchingman.

My Maloof Rocker won twice at Bay Meadows within a week - a maiden race over a mile on March 28 and a starter allowance over 1 1/16 miles on April 3.

"I think she's training great and has come out of her races great," Kitchingman said.

Kitchingman has shipped My Maloof Rocker to Northern California and Arizona in search of races, but now has a reason to stay home.