11/16/2005 12:00AM

Royal Flush has little to beat


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Royal Flush did not begin her career until the middle of August, more than halfway through her 4-year-old season. She has quickly made up for lost time.

Trained by John Sadler, Royal Flush followed a second-place finish in her debut with a victory in a maiden race at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting in September.

Friday night at Hollywood Park, Royal Flush faces winners for the first time and stretches out to 1 1/16 miles in a $44,000 allowance race for fillies and mares.

Later on the card, five statebred fillies and mares start at 1 1/16 miles in an allowance race led by the recent maiden winner Planning Surprises.

has only four opponents in the third race - Run for Dessert, Songthrush, Sweet Dee's, and Wendy's On to Me. None of those four won her last start.

won the Warren's Thoroughbred allowance stakes here at seven furlongs in April, the filly's most recent win. In six subsequent starts, her best finish was a third in the Pio Pico Stakes at Fairplex Park in September. Wendy's On to Me was claimed for $50,000 by Paul Girdner and trainer Nick Hines at Santa Anita on Oct. 16.

Songthrush is making her U.S. debut. Trained by Ben Cecil, Songthrush has one victory in seven starts. She is by Unbridled's Song and is making her dirt-track debut.

"This is what she's bred to do," Cecil said.

Planning Surprises needed six races to reach the winner's circle. Trained by Bob Baffert, Planning Surprises was making her first start of 2005 when she beat maidens on the hillside turf course on Oct. 23. In 2004, she finished eighth in the California Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Planning Surprises must beat Element K. and Stormin Lucy, who finished second and third in an allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 19. The form of that race has turned out to be productive. The winner, Jill's Sky, returned to win the $82,750 Moment to Buy Stakes at Golden Gate Fields last weekend.

Another filly making the transition from turf to dirt is Unusual Prospect, who starts from the rail. Trained by Don Warren for Bud and Judy Johnston, Unusual Prospect has not been worse than second in four starts in maiden claimers and at the starter allowance level.