04/27/2004 12:00AM

Please Lord tries to top debut


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Brian Koriner is usually not the nervous sort.

But after entries were taken Sunday for Thursday's card at Bay Meadows, he admitted he was anxious for Thursday to arrive.

Koriner has entered Please Lord in a six-furlong maiden race, and she will carry the hopes of many bettors. A $140,000 purchase at Ocala in March 2003, Please Lord missed by a neck in her debut at Golden Gate Fields, but the loss came in an allowance race and she earned an 88 Beyer Speed Figure. Because of these factors, Please Lord is expected to win Thursday.

"There's a lot more pressure," Koriner said.

Please Lord has had two solid drills since losing by a neck to Madrone in her April 3 debut.

"It's encouraging, but when they run that well, you don't want to get beat," Koriner said. "How many 3-year-old fillies get an 88 in their debut? From an 88, where do you go? Hopefully, that's a legitimate Beyer."

Koriner says he hopes the race did Please Lord some good, and expects a good effort.

Please Lord has an entrymate in the race, My Adell, the only 4-year-old in the field. Koriner says My Adell was his best prospect last year before an injury set her back.

"She was my best horse, but she was injured leaving the gate and pulled a muscle real bad," he said.

My Adell has missed only one work since coming back in late January and has two bullet drills, including a 1:12 at Thursday's six-furlong distance.

Another good race Thursday is a $32,000 claimer at five furlongs on the turf. Santano gets a great outside draw but faces a tough challenge from stakes winner Sempai, who will be making his turf debut.

"He's the quickest horse I've ever had in my life," said Santano's trainer Jeff Bonde.

Although he doesn't have particularly strong turf breeding, Santano has recorded eight of his 10 career wins on the turf. Sempai also has 10 career victories and has begun to show a willingness to rate a bit early.

Sempai, by Bertrando, is bred to like the turf.

Santano is a specialist at 4 1/2 furlongs, but Bonde isn't overly concerned about the extra distance. A longer run to the turn might allow Santano to open even more ground on his rivals early than he usually does.

"He's a hard-hitting horse," Bonde said.