02/10/2005 12:00AM

A. P. Adventure: Little to beat

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A. P. Adventure will be heavily favored in the La Canada now that Girl Warrior is out.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The rematch between Girl Warrior and A. P. Adventure, the first two finishers in the Grade 2 El Encino Stakes on Jan. 15, will not happen in Saturday's $200,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita.

Girl Warrior has a sore foot, which was diagnosed on Wednesday, according to trainer Neil Drysdale.

Her absence robs the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes of a top contender. Girl Warrior won her first stakes in the El Encino, and could have given A. P. Adventure a test in the La Canada, a 1 1/8-mile race for 4-year-old fillies.

Instead, A. P. Adventure is a standout in a field of five, which includes Sweet Lips, the upset winner of the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff here on Jan. 29, and Amorama, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on turf last summer.

is seeking her third stakes win for trainer Wally Dollase and owners Bob and Beverly Lewis. She finished a head behind Girl Warrior in the El Encino Stakes. On the final turn, A. P. Adventure rallied wide, while Girl Warrior snuck through along the rail.

"She was much the best," Dollase said of A. P. Adventure. "We were wide all the way around the turn."

A. P. Adventure is a stalker who could be ideally situated behind the front-runners Iflookscouldkill, a longshot, and Tarlow, who was third in the El Encino. Dollase just wants to avoid trouble with A. P. Adventure.

"They'll all be keying on her," Dollase said. "We have to make sure she doesn't get boxed in."

Sweet Lips needs a speed duel to occur to be most effective. Trained by Bobby Frankel for Gary and Mary West, Sweet Lips will race with blinkers. Frankel credited jockey Rene Douglas with suggesting blinkers before the Sunshine Millions Distaff. Wearing blinkers for the first time in that race for California-breds and Florida-breds, Sweet Lips rallied from last in the field of 10 to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

Douglas is riding A. P. Adventure in the La Canada; Sweet Lips will be ridden by Alex Solis, who was aboard that filly when she won a maiden race on turf last spring.

Tarlow will be ridden for the first time by Patrick Valenzuela, whose style plays to the filly's strength, according to trainer John Shirreffs.

"I'm going to ride the guy that loves the front end," Shirreffs said.

Tarlow finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Girl Warrior in the El Encino.

"I was happy with her last start," Shirreffs said. "She did go to the lead, but she relaxed a little bit."