12/04/2003 12:00AM

Shalini back on favorite turf


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Shalini can rebound from a disappointing performance in the California Cup when she starts in Saturday's $70,000 Hermosa Beach Handicap at Hollywood Park.

To win her fourth stakes of 2003, Shalini must overcome a challenge from nine fillies and mares in the minor handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Shalini was very consistent for owners James and Richard Briere during the spring-summer meeting, finishing in the first three in four consecutive starts. But Shalini was only fifth Nov. 8 in the California Cup Distaff Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita.

"For some reason, she didn't handle that course," trainer Craig Dollase said. "We're hoping for a turnaround. She's had two good works since that race."

Shalini's record on the Hollywood Park turf course has been outstanding this year. During the spring-summer meeting, Shalini won the Fran's Valentine and Valkyr stakes for statebreds, finished second against statebred males in the Quicken Tree Stakes, and came in third in an open allowance race. Earlier in the year, she won the Pro or Con Handicap at Santa Anita.

A closer, Shalini has not won at 1 1/2 miles, a distance that many of the starters in the Hermosa Beach are trying for the first time. In the Quicken Tree at 1 1/2 miles, Shalini finished 4 1/2 lengths behind Continental Red, the 2002 California-bred horse of the year.

In the Hermosa Beach, the competition includes fillies and mares who have proven stakes form and others who are taking a jump in class after starting in claiming and allowance races.

Go on Baby and Esmay were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Avigaition Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 9.

Trainer Bobby Frankel has two starters - Lady Annaliese and Silver Yen. Lady Annaliese was stakes-placed in New Zealand earlier this year and is making her stakes debut in this country. She was third in an allowance race here on Nov. 13.

Silver Yen is making her stakes debut, having won an allowance race on Oct. 30 at Santa Anita, beating Vale of Wing by a nose.

Vale of Wing is trained by Antonio Spanu, who won the 1992 French Derby with Polytain.

Tizbud will miss Native Diver

Tizbud, the winner of the California Cup Classic at Santa Anita last month, will miss Saturday's $100,000 Native Diver Handicap because of a recurrence of a leg injury, trainer John Sadler said.

Sadler said that Tizbud suffered a shin injury on Wednesday and that he was unsure how long the colt would be out.

Owned by Cees Stable, Tizbud was considered a top candidate for the Native Diver following his upset win in the California Cup Classic. A 4-year-old, Tizbud has won 2 of 6 starts and $219,266.

The injury could jeopardize plans for a start in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic for California-breds and Florida-breds at Santa Anita on Jan. 24.

"It's one of these things that we'll need a few days to assess," Sadler said.

Adoration's work hard to follow

Adoration, the upset winner of the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, worked a half-mile on Thursday morning in preparation for Sunday's Bayakoa Handicap. She was not given an official time because of thick fog.

The workout was postponed from 7:30 a.m. to 9 for better visibility, according to trainer David Hofmans. Even at the later hour, it was not possible to see more than a furlong down the stretch.

"I got the last eighth in 12" seconds, Hofmans said. "The rider thought she went in 48."

Adoration will carry top weight of 121 pounds in the $150,000 Bayakoa, run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. She will be opposed by Angel Gift, Bare Necessities, Keys to the Heart, Southern Oasis, Sparkling Ava, and Star Parade.

Bare Necessities is considered the biggest threat to Adoration. Trained by Wally Dollase, Bare Necessities has won four stakes this year, including the $250,000 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne in April.

Madame Pietra goes to Frankel

Madame Pietra, a five-time stakes winner, has been purchased privately by Frank Stronach as a broodmare prospect but will continue her racing career over the winter with trainer Bobby Frankel.

The deal was completed earlier this week. Madame Pietra has since been transferred from trainer Howard Zucker's stable at Santa Anita to Frankel's barn at Hollywood Park.

Frankel said that Madame Pietra will be pointed for the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita.

Madame Pietra won the same race last January at Gulfstream Park while owned by Carl Grether. She also won the Grade 3 Desert Stormer Handicap at Hollywood Park in June and three stakes in 2002 - the Soviet Problem Handicap at Golden Gate Fields, the Cascapedia Stakes at Santa Anita, and the Corona Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Hong Kong next for Mister Acpen

Mister Acpen will make his next start in the $1.8 million Hong Kong Mile on Dec. 14, a relatively quick turnaround after a third-place finish in the $400,000 Citation Handicap here on Nov. 29.

In the Grade 2 Citation, Mister Acpen finished 3 1/4 lengths behind Redattore in his first start since winning the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap in late September.

Trainer Kristin Mulhall is hoping a one-turn mile race in Hong Kong will benefit the front-running Mister Acpen. "Hopefully, he can open up on them," she said.

David Flores has been booked to ride Mister Acpen. Patrick Valenzuela had the mount in the Citation.

Two stakes purses cut

The purses of two stakes for California-breds - the On Trust Handicap on Dec. 13 and the Cat's Cradle Handicap on Dec. 14 - have been cut by 5 percent, from $100,000 to $95,000. Both races are run at 7 1/2 furlongs on the main track.

The lower purses are part of an 8 percent reduction in overnight prize money announced by Hollywood Park on Monday because of lower- than-expected handle figures. No other stakes in the final three weeks of the meeting were affected.