05/15/2002 11:00PM

September's time has come


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Remember this about September Secret's debut win in a sprint for 2-year-old fillies last June: Runner-up Ayanna later won the Moccasin Stakes and third-place finisher Tempera won the Eclipse Award as the outstanding 2-year-old filly of 2001.

Add the achievements of fourth-place finisher Lady George, a multiple stakes winner and the California-bred champion 2-year-old filly of 2001, and the 10th race from June 10, 2001, becomes a genuinely live race.

One thing missing is a major win from September Secret, and that may come in Saturday's $100,000 Railbird Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.

September Secret was sidelined last year with a bone chip in a knee, but she has rebounded to race well this year for owner Lo Hi Stable and trainer Michael Machowsky. Despite the lack of a stakes win, her potential has not dimmed in the eyes of her trainer.

"I thought she'd be one of the stars of last summer," Machowsky said. "She's filled out and blossomed. She doesn't look like the $20,000 yearling she was."

September Secret can lead or stalk, which gives jockey Patrick Valenzuela options as the seven-furlong Railbird Stakes unfolds.

September Secret stalked the pace in her maiden win last year and was always near the lead when she won an allowance race by 3 1/2 lengths on April 17.

"The last time I ran her, I told Pat: 'Don't rush her. Let her sit off a horse,' " Machowsky said. "We can do whatever she wants."

September Secret faces a solid field that includes Fun House, Halo Tyra, and No Turbulence.

Fun House finished second in the La Habra Stakes on turf at Santa Anita in March. Trained by Ron McAnally, she is searching for her first stakes win.

Halo Tyra won the Emeryville Stakes over six furlongs at Golden Gate Fields on March 31, and No Turbulence won the Sunland Park Oaks over one mile on March 30, her first stakes win.

None of them have the speed of September Secret.

"I think seven-eighths is perfect for her," Machowsky said.

The victory on April 17 proved to Machowsky that September Secret was over her 2001 injury and a quarter crack that delayed her comeback earlier this year.

"I think I ran her a little short the first time because I was babying her," Machowsky said of September Secret's 2002 debut, a sixth-place finish in an allowance race. "After the first race, I was bummed for two weeks and then she started training really well. The last two works have been real strong."

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