05/03/2010 11:00PM

Pace will dictate how Hollywood favorites fare


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The weekly schedule in Southern California expands by one day starting Wednesday at Hollywood Park, where the challenge is filling five race cards from a limited inventory.

Hollywood averaged 8.2 starters during its initial four-day schedule; its five-day schedule begins Wednesday with an eight-race card that attracted 57 horses (7.1 per race). Four races attracted six or fewer entrants.

The twin features Wednesday are first-condition allowance races at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares.

Race 4 is on grass, race 7 is on the main track, and both include favorites that may or may not be as good as they look - El Nadia in race 4, Diamond Tags in race 7.

El Nadia won 1 of 25 in New Zealand before making her U.S. debut for trainer Steve Knapp on Feb. 18 at Santa Anita. She scored a $111.60 upset in the turf sprint, then was sold privately and transferred to Jerry Hollendorfer. El Nadia finished second, followed by a fourth April 10 in a race that set up wrong.

El Nadia performs best with pace to run at, and the race unfolded with dawdling fractions of 49.25 seconds and 1:13.84. El Nadia pulled throughout and weakened; a bad race under compromising conditions. The question Wednesday is whether stretch-out sprinter Terrify will set fast enough fractions to flatter El Nadia's come-from-behind run.

Rafael Bejarano replaces Tyler Baze on El Nadia. Baze rides likely pacesetter Terrify.

Oui Say Oui, Super Academy, and Fair Kisses complete the five-horse field.

In the slow-paced April 10 race that messed up El Nadia, it was Wednesday race-7 favorite Diamond Tags who benefitted from the splits. She walked on the lead, ran well, and lost by a nose.

Diamond Tags returns to the main track Wednesday, and could get another easy trip in race 7, a race without an obvious front-runner. Bob Baffert trains Diamond Tags, who will be ridden by Martin Garcia.

Hollendorfer and Bejarano team with last-start maiden winner Broken Silence. Silver Games, Miss Pleasant, Miss Mojito, and Victoria Reel round out the field of six.

Horseplayers seeking value may be attracted to Preciado in race 8. He drops in class and stretches to two turns in the maiden turf race for California-breds. Race 8 includes a $45,872 carryover in the super high five.