11/22/2005 1:00AM

New challenge for Forster


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Sure, everyone wants to win the Kentucky Derby, but depending on where you grow up, there are regional prizes that tug at the heart. In Southern California, it's the Santa Anita Handicap. In Boston, it's the Massachusetts Handicap. And in the Pacific Northwest, it's the Longacres Mile.

For trainer Grant Forster, winning the Grade 3 Longacres Mile in August was not only the most lucrative victory of his career, but the most emotional.

"It was my first graded stakes win, but in that part of the world, it's more than a graded stake," Forster said. "It's a pretty big deal."

Forster has more basic needs on Thursday at Hollywood Park.

"I'm just trying to get off the duck," said Forster, who is racing in Southern California for the first time this winter.

The horse who could bring him his first victory on this circuit just happens to be the horse who on Aug. 21 won the Mile, No Giveaway, who makes his first start since the Mile in Thursday's featured sixth race, a seven-furlong allowance.

For Thursday's Thanksgiving Day card, which begins at 11 a.m., there are eight races, with a mere 49 runners. There are three races with five entrants, and no race has more than eight runners.

gives the card some flair, but it is hard to figure where he fits. He has won 6 times in 10 starts, but he has no early speed, only once has recorded a Beyer Speed Figure better than 86, and will be making his first start anywhere other than Emerald Downs. He also has not raced for three months.

"He's been a victim of circumstances," Forster said. "He was going to run in a statebred race at Emerald, but he had a foot abscess. Then he was going to run in the Morvich at Santa Anita, but he missed an important work. He's ready to run."

Four others face No Giveaway.

is back in a dirt sprint, at his ideal distance.

Gray Black and White has won two straight going long and has finished in the money 4 times in 5 starts at this track.

turned in one of the best races of his career last time when he finished third in a money allowance going one mile at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

Royal Place gets a significant rider switch to Patrick Valenzuela.