08/27/2007 11:00PM

'Opinions' strong on Polytrack


DEL MAR, Calif. - One thing handicappers have learned in the foggy, initial era of evaluating form on Polytrack is that performance on the track is paramount. Horses that like it the first time hold their form, while those who do not run well are often no better the next time out.

On Aug. 2, Great Opinions won a two-turn race at a flat mile here at Del Mar. Exactly four weeks later, she races under similar conditions, but goes for a far more lucrative prize in the $85,000 Adoration Handicap for older fillies and mares on Thursday.

"Being by Rahy, it would be nice to get her some black type," trainer Ben Cecil said Tuesday morning at his barn. "Hopefully, this is the spot."

Great Opinions has found the move to synthetic surfaces in California to be a panacea. She is just 1 for 16 on turf, but has won 3 times in 5 starts on synthetic surfaces at Hollywood Park and Del Mar.

"She likes these synthetic surfaces," Cecil said. "It looks like she stacks up well with this group."

Great Opinions drew the rail and faces six rivals in the Adoration, which goes as the seventh race on an eight-race card. Her challengers include Dona Amelia, who finished second to Great Opinions in the Aug.o2 optional-claiming race.

Dona Amelia got first run on Great Opinions in that race, but Great Opinions ran her down to win by three-quarters of a length.

La Cocasse is an intriguing newcomer. She heads here from Arlington Park, where she finished in the money in three straight races over Polytrack for trainer Todd Pletcher. She is now trained by Ron McAnally, who gave the mount to Alex Solis.

"I've only had her about a week," McAnally said. "She's managed by Larry Richardson, the old farm manager for Nelson Bunker Hunt. He bought a couple of fillies in Argentina, and now they've decided to bring her out here after running in the Midwest.

"Larry said she's a definite closer - she doesn't finish if you let her run the first part - so we put Alex on her because he's good on horses like that. At least she's used to running on Polytrack."

Fun Logic romped against a second-level allowance field in her first start on Polytrack. A repeat of that effort makes her a formidable threat in the Adoration. She has won twice in her last four starts.

Screen Giant beat maidens sprinting here July 28. She exits a live race - second-place finisher Look Deep came back to win - but she is racing well above her conditions. Screen Giant is eligible to a first-level allowance spot.