09/27/2006 12:00AM

Runaway Cozzene ready to fire fresh


ARCADIA, Calif. - Runaway Cozzene had a promising start to her career last winter before being sidelined by injury. She won a $100,000 claiming race for maidens by a nose in January and finished a game second to eventual stakes winner Harriett Lane in early February.

Following the latter race, she was given the winter and spring off. Friday, she returns in an optional claimer over six furlongs for fillies and mares at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.

Judging from her workouts in the last 60 days, Runaway Cozzene appears ready for a start.

Four of her last six workouts have been bullets, all at Santa Anita in August and early September. The sequence includes a five-furlong workout in 59.80 seconds on Aug. 26, the fastest of 24 recorded works at the distance.

"She's been working well at Santa Anita," trainer Moon Han said. "Hopefully, she's ready to run. She won the first time out and I think she's a good filly."

Runaway Cozzene can lead or come from behind. She rallied from eighth to win the maiden race in an 18-1 upset. When she finished second on Feb. 4 in a race on the hillside turf course, Runaway Cozzene fought for the lead and led by two lengths in the stretch before finishing three-quarters of a length behind Harriett Lane.

"The first time she came from behind," Han said. "Last time, she went to the front too early."

Runaway Cozzene is one of three 3-year-old fillies in Friday's seventh race. The others are Fletchers Cove and Sugar Doll, who finished fourth in separate optional claiming races at Del Mar earlier this month.

Sugar Doll's loss ended a two-race winning streak. Trained by Chuck Peery, Sugar Doll won a $50,000 claiming race for maidens on Aug. 7 and returned 11 days later to win an optional claimer for California-breds over a mile. She has won 2 of 5 starts.

The race has drawn Tucker's Tune, a 4-year-old filly, and Run for Dessert, a 5-year-old mare.

Tucker's Tune beat maidens by eight lengths at Santa Anita in April 2005 and did not start against until June of this year. In three starts this year, she has finished sixth in two races and eighth.

Run for Dessert is the only member of the field eligible to be claimed for $50,000. Trained by Art Sherman, she was sixth in the same race as Sugar Doll earlier this month. Run for Dessert has been claimed four times this year.