12/06/2007 1:00AM

From post 11, Bold Chieftain needs trip

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - Bold Chieftain overcame an outside draw to win the richest race of his career in the $250,000 California Cup Classic at Santa Anita last month.

When Bold Chieftain drew the extreme outside post of 11 in Saturday's $100,000 Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park, trainer and co-owner Bill Morey began to curse his luck at the draws. Then, he recalled how jockey Russell Baze had craftily saved ground on Bold Chieftain in the California Cup Classic, enabling the 4-year-old to win by a half-length.

"We had the dream trip last time," Morey said. "Can we get it twice?"

Bold Chieftain will be ridden by Russell Baze in the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap at 1 1/8 miles. Morey is hoping Baze can use the same tactic Saturday as he did in the California Cup.

"I think Russell Baze gave him a wonderful ride," Morey said. "He ducked in at the right time. He got through at the right time. He made the lead at the right time. It was perfect."

Morey would be the first to admit that the Native Diver Handicap will be tougher for Bold Chieftain, who will carry 118 pounds. Buzzards Bay, the winner of the Grade 2 Californian Stakes in June, and Arson Squad, the winner of the Grade 2 Strub Stakes, are the 120-pound highweights.

"I think it's his biggest test yet," Morey said. "I don't see a weak horse in there."

Both Arson Squad and Buzzards Bay enter off losses. Arson Squad has been uncompetitive in three starts since returning from a five-month layoff in July, but the 4-year-old gelding has worked well in recent weeks at Santa Anita for trainer Bruce Headley.

Buzzards Bay was seventh in the Grade 3 All American Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on Nov. 17. A 5-year-old horse, Buzzards Bay led to the stretch before fading. Trainer Ron Ellis thinks that Buzzards Bay may have disliked the Tapeta synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields. "I think he likes a track that is a little on the firmer side," Ellis said.

Ravel and Hello Sunday will be well-backed. Ravel is making his stakes debut against older horses, having won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes against 3-year-olds at Santa Anita in February. He won an allowance race at Keeneland by five lengths in October.

Hello Sunday ran a troubled third in the All American Handicap, closing well after racing in traffic in early stretch.