06/19/2007 11:00PM

Newport Topper finds her thing


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - After Newport Topper finished third in a $40,000 claimer on turf earlier this month, trainer Anthony Saavedra thought the 4-year-old filly had found a new aspect to her career.

"Before when horses would pass her, she would hang it up," he said. "She re-rallied and came on again. The dirt wasn't hitting her in the face."

Newport Topper makes her second start on turf in a $49,000 allowance race at six furlongs for California-bred fillies and mares at Hollywood Park on Friday. Saavedra is hoping Newport Topper's recent experience on the surface will lead to her third victory.

Newport Topper has only four rivals in Friday's race, the first on a modest eight-race program.

"I think she ought to be pretty tough," Saavedra said. "In her last race, that was a pretty tough group. She was hemmed in turning for home and she rallied and came on strong. I thought she took to the turf."

Newport Topper is expected to race near the front under Aaron Gryder. She has won 2 of 9 starts and $26,188, with her first six starts at Turf Paradise. She joined Saavedra's stable in the spring.

The barn is in need of a winner. Through Tuesday, Saavedra had

1 victory from 23 starters this year.

Newport Topper could face early pressure from Itsallgreektou, who is seeking her third consecutive win and is making her first start on turf.

Trained by Paul Aguirre, Itsallgreektou is perfect at this meeting, winning a $50,000 claiming race for maidens on May 2 and a $62,500 claimer on May 24. Both races were at six furlongs on the synthetic main track.

Itsallgreektou is by In Excess, which gives Aguirre hope that she will take to the turf.

"She's bred to like it and has a good shot," Aguirre said. "She's really a push-button filly. She's just gotten good, getting better with every start."

Charm N Broad, Finally Blonde, and Hello Bolly are the other starters. Charm N Broad finished second in a similar race at 1 1/16 miles on turf on June 6. She won a starter allowance at a mile on turf at Santa Anita on April 21.

Hello Bolly was third behind Charm N Broad on June 6. She has just 1 victory in 19 starts, but has run well in turf sprints this year.

Finally Blonde is winless in her last four starts and will be a longshot.