12/29/2003 12:00AM

Shooting for six

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Benoit & Associates
Royally Chosen, winning the Cal Cup Matron, goes for two in a row in the Kalookan Queen.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Ema Bovary will attempt to win her sixth straight race in Wednesday's $75,000 Kalookan Queen Handicap at Santa Anita, a streak that trainer Larry Ross insists should be longer.

Ema Bovary, a 4-year-old Chilean-bred, has not lost since she finished seventh in the Richmond Handicap at Golden Gate Fields in her United States debut last February. In that race, she was left at the start but still managed to finish 5 1/4 lengths behind the winner.

"She really should have won six in a row," he said. "She got left unbelievably."

Since that loss, Ema Bovary has won four stakes and an optional claimer. After winning two stakes at Emerald Downs in May, she was given a five-month break, returning in November to win the Camilla Urso Handicap at Golden Gate Fields and an optional claimer at Hollywood Park.

"The main reason for turning her out was she was still a Chilean 3-year-old and her true fourth birthday wasn't until Oct. 10," Ross said. "We let her grow up and get a break in mid-summer. She had about 60 days at our farm and looked great."

The win at Hollywood on Nov. 29, against only three rivals, gave Ross the confidence to ship Ema Bovary to Santa Anita.

"She proved two things," he said of the Hollywood win. "She's capable of beating them in Southern California and she seemed to handle the ship very well. This is the next step up the ladder."

The Kalookan Queen is run at 6 1/2 furlongs, the same distance as Ema Bovary's two wins at Emerald Downs.

She is the 120-pound highweight against eight opponents, including Royally Chosen, the winner of the California Cup Matron last month, and the entry of Spring Meadow and Quiet Delight.

Ema Bovary is likely to stalk the pace. "Every tape I got from Chile she was wire to wire," Ross said. "She's learning to relax very well. She has definitely learned to settle off the pace."

Royally Chosen won her first stakes in the Matron, but was a game second in the seven-furlong La Brea Stakes in 2001 and second by a nose to Affluent in the Grade 2 El Encino Stakes in 2002. She has not won a sprint since her career debut in January 2001.

Spring Meadow won the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap last February but has managed only two wins in eight subsequent starts. She was third behind Ema Bovary at Hollywood last month.