10/04/2005 12:00AM

Proposed gets Cal Cup prep in allowance


ARCADIA, Calif. - It is the season for prep races. The lightly raced 3-year-old filly Proposed may not be being considered for the Breeders' Cup Distaff, but the California Cup Matron is dead ahead, and Proposed still needs to prove she can win around two turns.

Nine fillies and mares entered the seventh-race feature Thursday at Santa Anita, where Proposed figures to start as the heavy choice in the 1 1/16-mile race which, for Proposed, will be a prep race for the $150,000 Cal Cup Matron on Nov. 6.

has won 2 of 5, including two sprints this summer at Hollywood Park and Del Mar. When she stretched out in a first-level allowance route Aug. 21 at Del Mar, Proposed was hammered to 7-5 with expectations that she would roll right past front-runner Guidebook. It did not happen.

Guidebook seized command, Proposed chased while racing in uncomfortable quarters inside, and Guidebook won by a length. It was 3 1/2 lengths back to third-place finisher Simply Because, who flattered the race when she came back to win a fast (102 Beyer) sprint stakes on Sept. 7.

The runner-up finish by Proposed was her third start in six weeks, and trainer John Shirreffs and owner Marty Wygod gave her a short freshening to aim for fall. Thursday, Proposed and Jon Court break from the rail in the $45,000 allowance with a $40,000 claiming option.

A win by Proposed would establish her as a contender for the Cal Cup Matron, which could use a boost. California-bred mares Dream of Summer and Valentine Dancer are both coming off disappointing efforts in graded stakes; their status for the Cal Cup is undetermined.

Proposed shows three sharp works for her return, and has more upside potential than anyone in the field. Sired by Benchmark, Proposed is a full sister to Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks winner Silent Sighs. Two turns is not expected to be a challenge.

If Proposed misfires, it is anyone's race. , who is trained by Beau Greeley. Gomez and Greeley teamed Saturday to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup with Borrego.

Also entered were Crystal House, Nossa Cancao, Wendy's on to Me, Dolly Wells, Skippadoo, and Silent Kingdom.