05/19/2005 11:00PM

Proctor favorite can be beaten


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - An upset is brewing Sunday at Hollywood Park, where an undistinguished field of 2-year-olds races five furlongs in the $75,000 Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes.

Seven colts and geldings entered the Proctor, and Wild Uncle Kurt looms the favorite, but with dubious credentials. A son of Swiss Yodeler, Wild Uncle Kurt came out firing in his debut and scored a daylight win over more a highly regarded entrymate, Swiss Sonata. When he faces winners Sunday in his second start, however, must run a lot faster than the 66 Beyer Speed Figure he earned first out. The median Beyer for a Proctor winner is 84. The problem with the Proctor field is that the 84 par is beyond what any Proctor entrant has earned.

Wild Uncle Kurt is one of only two entrants that have raced around a turn. Three are stretching out from quarter-mile races; two others are first-time starters. The experienced runners are June's Prince, Tiza Royal Cat, Crowning Caper, and .

Mike Harrington trains Wild Uncle Kurt, whose modest debut was partly flattered when runner-up Swiss Sonata came back to run second. Wild Uncle Kurt saved ground with a perfect trip in his debut and was good enough to exploit the situation.

A bullet three-furlong workout this week in 35.20 suggests Wild Uncle Kurt can improve. But unlike Lil' Sister Swiss, whose crisp debut made her a standout last Sunday in the Nursery Stakes, Wild Uncle Kurt must take a big step forward to win.

If the Proctor is as weak as it looks, June's Prince fits. He won a two-furlong sprint in his debut while looking for more ground. "He didn't find his stride until about the last three jumps," said trainer Cliff Sise.

If there is a knock on June's Prince, it was a slow five-furlong work May 8 in 1:05.40, after which he came back exhausted. A post-work exam provided an alibi - his lungs were full of mucus. "He should be fine for Sunday," Sise said.

drew post 7 in the seven-horse field.

Tiza Royal Cat and Crowning Caper also won quarter-mile races in their debut. The Bob Baffert-trained The Missile Came can improve after showing speed and fading one week ago in a 4 1/2-furlong race.