03/04/2005 12:00AM

Revealed faces tough French filly

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Sprint races on turf are hardly traditional preps for the Kentucky Oaks, but the $100,000 La Habra Stakes - at 6 1/2 furlongs on grass - might provide a fitting segue for the improving filly Revealed.

In the field of 11 entered in the La Habra for 3-year-old fillies Sunday at Santa Anita, is the only serious candidate for the Kentucky Oaks. Time is running out, though. With only two months to the Oaks, why run Revealed in another turf sprint?

"We're sprinting her until she gets an idea how to relax," trainer John Shirreffs said, adding that in a sprint, "there is enough pace in front of her to do that."

Revealed scored a convincing last-to-first victory in a downhill allowance on Feb. 10, an effort that makes her a leading contender in the La Habra.

Shirreffs and owner-breeder Marty Wygod have tabbed the Kentucky Oaks as the long-range goal for Revealed, who Shirreffs said "acts like she wants to run long, and is bred to go two turns. But she has a ways to go."

The best-case scenario is for Revealed, sired by Old Trieste, to stretch out to two turns in April, then enter the Oaks as a replacement for the Wygod-owned filly Sweet Catomine, still considered a Kentucky Derby candidate.

First things first: Revealed on Sunday faces a good La Habra field. It includes Shining Energy, a stakes-placed French import who scored a powerful maiden win Feb. 5 in her U.S. debut for trainer Julio Canani; graded-stakes-placed Royal Copenhagen; downhill allowance winner Royal Wave; and California-bred stakes winner Coastal Strike.

Shining Energy arrived from France last fall, and was sold privately to Terri Lanni and Bernie Schiappa. In four starts in France, Shining Energy had two seconds, a third and a fourth. Her form was outstanding.

"She never ran in a maiden race, and never ran against fillies," Canani noted.

Shining Energy missed significant training into her U.S. debut, yet powered home by 2 1/2 lengths with speed to spare. A similar effort Sunday may be good enough.

will set the pace in the La Habra, which will be her first start since a sixth-place comeback Jan. 29 on a wet-fast track she did not handle. Coastal Strike went 2 for 2 last summer, including the $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes for California-breds, and trainer Cliff Sise said she handled grass fine in a turf work last week.

The remaining entrants are Feel the Heat, Berbatim, Island Escape, Kohar, No Bull Baby, and Kash Klip.