11/06/2006 12:00AM

Quemar coming off solid effort

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The durable Quemar does not go too long between starts.

Since arriving from New Zealand in May, Quemar has made nine starts, winning once and finishing second or third five times.

A 4-year-old filly, Quemar is coming off her best performance during that span, a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting when she finished a half-length behind favored Beautyandthebeast.

The narrow loss will make Quemar the favorite in a $50,000 allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Hollywood Park on Wednesday.

While many trainers do not start a horse twice in 10 days, Roger Stein has made that tactic commonplace with Quemar. Owned by Ross McLeod, Quemar seems to thrive on racing. She won an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar on July 22 and started three more times at Del Mar, finishing sixth, second, and fourth.

Quemar was given five weeks off and made two starts at Santa Anita in October, finishing third in each race.

In the Las Palmas, over a mile on turf, Quemar was third for the first six furlongs, took the lead in the stretch, but was caught late by Beautyandthebeast and a fast-closing Clinet.

Quemar has seven rivals, none of whom are coming off a victory.

Niquita, trained by Bobby Frankel, finished second to Quemar at Del Mar on July 22. She returned to win a one-mile allowance race at Del Mar on Sept. 4 and was fourth in an optional claimer at Santa Anita on Oct. 13. Quemar finished third in that race, run on the hillside turf course.

First race out of turf chute

The fifth race will be run over six furlongs on turf, the first race run at that distance since Hollywood Park constructed a chute on the backstretch of the turf course to accommodate the distance. The chute was installed in September.

The chute starts on the infield and joins the backstretch portion of the turf course near the five-furlong pole.

The six-furlong race is for maidens and has drawn 11 entrants. The field will be limited to 10 starters.

Puffball and No Lullaby, who finished second and third in a maiden race on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita on Oct. 13, are the leading contenders.