04/12/2004 11:00PM

Our Bobby V. gets second chance

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ARCADIA, Calif. - How much difference does a half-furlong make? Will Our Bobby V. tire again when he faces Phoenix Gold Cup winner Iron Halo in a six-furlong allowance sprint Thursday?

A race later, what is to prevent Electric Chair, who returns to the same allowance condition as her dominating win last time, from winning another mile turf race?

Those are the questions Thursday at Santa Anita, where races 6 and 7 offer the best puzzles on the card. In race 6, and five others, including Phoenix Gold Cup winner Iron Halo, run six furlongs for a $52,000 purse. The field includes razor-sharp Revello and Zayed, and outsiders Dauphin and Billy's Echo.

Iron Halo will have to catch Our Bobby V., who battled through a brutal pace last time and only tired the final furlong of a 6 1/2-furlong race. Our Bobby V. may have a softer trip out front Thursday, and at six furlongs could be tough to catch.

, trained by Eric Kruljac, produced a career-best effort in his last start, winning the $100,000 Phoenix Gold Cup by 2 1/4 lengths while earning a 98 Beyer Speed Figure. The dilemma for speed handicappers is whether the figure is close enough to par for the class, two-other-than allowance, which is 101 at Santa Anita. Most rational bettors would suggest 98 is close enough, and that Iron Halo is the one to beat.

Revello is expected to improve, having been claimed last time by trainer Ted H. West. Zayed is the only starter in the race who has exceeded the second-condition Beyer par, but his 104 was earned in December 2002.

In race 7, Electric Chair tries to reproduce her clever last-start win in a mile turf race for California-bred fillies and mares. Electric Chair won at the Calbred one-other-than condition level last time, when entered for a $40,000 claiming tag, so she remains eligible. Her rivals include stuck-at-the-level Proud Nicole, sprinter Tiz Royalty, lightly raced Go Baby Ice, Sky Reality, comebacker Test the Waters, and longshots The Toast of Troy and Broke the Slump.

Electric Chair was the only starter in the seventh race March 24 to run with a claiming price. There were no takers, so trainer Ron Ellis gets to run her at the same condition. A 4-for-14 filly, Electric Chair benefited from a ground-saving trip under Mike Smith in that race, but figures for a similar journey Thursday, in a race that came up with little speed. Electric Chair has won three of her last four.