04/21/2005 11:00PM

Scrofa out to turn the tables

Valentine Dancer beats Scrofa in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf at Gulfstream.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Less than a length separated Valentine Dancer and Scrofa at the finish of the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29. won the $500,000 race by a neck after staying close to the pace, while Scrofa rallied from 11th to miss by three-quarters of a length, finishing fourth.

The rematch occurs in Sunday's first race at Hollywood Park, the $150,000 Fran's Valentine Stakes for statebred fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles on turf.

This time trainer Paul Aguirre feels Scrofa will be the California-bred in the winner's circle.

"I think she's coming into her own," Aguirre said. "I couldn't have any more confidence than I have in the horse. In Florida, she had a rough trip and should have won."

Scrofa will need to be at her best. Valentine Dancer, trained by Craig Lewis, is seeking to become the fifth California-bred filly or mare to reach $1 million in career earnings. The $90,000 first prize will put her past the seven-figure mark.

The pair lead a field of six.

is capable of an upset. The winner of the 2003 California Cup Distaff, she finished a game second to Scrofa in the Irish O'Brien Stakes on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita March 17. The race was Blind Ambition's first start after a 16-month layoff.

Blind Ambition is not guaranteed to start in the Fran's Valentine; she was entered for Saturday's Wilshire Handicap.

will be making her stakes debut, having won an allowance race against open company by seven lengths at Bay Meadows on April 1.

Deputy Tombe, ninth in the Irish O'Brien, and Smokegetenyoureyes, who was supplemented for $3,000 on Thursday, will be longshots.

Garden Whimsy is likely to lead, but Valentine Dancer will not be far behind. Owned by Al and Sandee Kirkwood, Valentine Dancer was third in the early stages of the Sunshine Million Filly and Mare Turf. In her only subsequent start, a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita on March 20, Valentine Dancer disputed the lead to the final furlong before finishing two lengths behind Megahertz.

The 1 1/16 miles of the Fran's Valentine may work better for Valentine Dancer than the distance of the Santa Ana, Lewis said. "She's a true miler, but she can get a mile and an eighth," Lewis said. "The mile is the ideal distance. She has a tremendous turn of foot. She can put in a three-eighths of a mile run, which is a tremendous asset."