10/29/2004 12:00AM

Skipping BC, Miss Loren finds a spot


ARCADIA, Calif. - The choices for Miss Loren were for her owners to pay a $400,000 supplemental nomination for the Breeders' Cup Distaff, sit out until mid-December, or switch to turf and run Sunday at Santa Anita on closing day of the Oak Tree meet.

Trainer Luis Seglin and the mare's owners chose the lesser of evils - Miss Loren moves to grass for the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap, facing seven fillies and mares in a 1 1/8-mile, $150,000 turf race that is a mere consolation. An import from Argentina, originally targeted the BC Distaff, but when it was learned that the nomination fee was 20 percent of the $2 million Distaff purse instead of 9 percent, Breeders' Cup plans were scrapped.

Based on a dominating win in the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch at Del Mar and a fast-closing second behind Island Fashion in the Grade 2 Lady's Secret at Santa Anita, Miss Loren might have been a Distaff contender Saturday at Lone Star. On Sunday at Santa Anita, conditions change. Miss Loren runs on grass for the second time since arriving from South America. Her trainer recognizes the challenge - can Miss Loren be effective on turf?

"That's a good question," Seglin said. "I think she is better on dirt. Unfortunately, I have no races on dirt."

The next filly-mare graded stakes on dirt is the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap Dec. 12 at Hollywood Park. No reason to wait. "She's doing very well - the question mark is the turf," Seglin said. Recent rain may benefit her, according to Seglin. "I don't think the turf will be as hard. It won't be as fast."

Miss Loren finished fourth in her only U.S. turf start, and won three times on grass in Argentina. Jon Court rides Miss Loren, who has won 11 races and $401,400 from 41 starts. The 116-pound highweight, Miss Loren can win the Las Palmas if she reproduces her dirt form. Otherwise, the race is a scramble.

Hoh Buzzard drops after a sixth-place finish behind Light Jig in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon, Hoh Buzzard's first start in nine months. Trainer Ben Cecil anticipates better on Sunday.

"I missed one work with her before the Yellow Ribbon due to the rain, so I expect her to improve," he said. Hoh Buzzard has won 5 of 14, including the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere last fall on yielding turf at Churchill Downs.

The Las Palmas field includes Uraib, Fencelineneighbor, Theater R.N., Good Student, Lots of Hope, and Navaja. The Hollywood Park autumn meets begins on Wednesday.