07/24/2007 12:00AM

Red Diadem aims to rebound


DEL MAR, Calif. - Her first two turf sprints in this country both resulted in wins, so when Red Diadem lined up for the Las Cienegas Handicap at Santa Anita on April 15, trainer Ben Cecil thought there was a great chance she could get a hat trick. Instead, Red Diadem struggled home last. She has not been seen since.

On Thursday at Del Mar, Red Diadem returns in the $85,000 Daisycutter Handicap, at the abbreviated distance of five furlongs on turf. Cecil is concerned the distance is too short, and that Red Diadem might not fire her best shot fresh. But he is sure she will run better than last time.

"She was going so well when she hit the dirt last time, and then she stopped," Cecil said at his Del Mar barn Tuesday morning. "We scoped her afterward, and she had an entrapped epiglottis. We did the surgery on her. She's been training real well."

The Daisycutter drew 14 entrants, but only eight will be allowed to run. It is a brutally tough race, with several horses whose best form puts them in contention.

Valid's Valid was a 4 1/4-length winner of the Tuzla Stakes on the Hollywood Park turf on May 11, then was second in the Great Lady M. to River's Prayer, who subsequently won the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder. Her outside post could prove troublesome.

Stylish Wildcat has 4 wins and 2 seconds in 6 turf sprints. She most recently was second in the Tuzla. Her early speed and inside draw are both usually assets in turf sprints at Del Mar.

Pindaric moves back to a turf sprint - a trip over which she won on April 26 at Hollywood - following a disappointing race on Hollywood's synthetic Cushion Track surface.

"What hurt her last time was the kickback," trainer Eddie Truman said. "There's a race for her here on the Polytrack next week, but I'm afraid with the kickback she'll get too far back. I don't want to waste a race, so I don't have much choice but to go Thursday."

Indian Breeze is unbeaten in three turf sprints, including a win here last summer over Stylish Wildcat.

* One race before the Daisycutter, Intangaroo will try to upset Hollywood Oaks runner-up Silver Swallow in a first-level allowance for fillies and mares going one mile. Intangaroo, 3, scored a stylish debut win at Hollywood going 6 1/2 furlongs on June 30.

"I always thought she had quality," trainer Gary Sherlock said. "She fractured a tibia here last year in her final work before she was supposed to run. She needed seven months off."