05/04/2005 12:00AM

Solar Echo should make Tuzla her first stakes win

Benoit & Associates
Hollywood Story will return from a minor leg injury in the Hawthorne.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The stakes win that has eluded the talented Solar Echo may finally arrive in Friday's $62,000 Tuzla Stakes at Hollywood Park.

The Tuzla is the top race on a program that begins at 1:20 p.m. Pacific. It's the only Friday afternoon program of the spring-summer meeting.

The Tuzla marks Solar Echo's third stakes appearance. She was second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in August 2003 and the Wishing Well Handicap on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita in January.

Trained by Ron McAnally for Janis Whitham, Solar Echo did not start between those races. She was beaten a half-length by Elusive Diva in the Wishing Well. Elusive Diva won the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap at Santa Anita last month.

Solar Echo will have seven opponents in the Tuzla, which is run over 5 1/2 furlongs and is restricted to older fillies and mares who have not won a first-place purse worth $50,000 since Aug. 1.

The race marks the turf stakes debut for Papa to Kinzie, who will set the pace.

A fast pace not only would help Solar Echo but also Winendynme, who won the Manhattan Beach Handicap here last May. Trained by Jenine Sahadi, Winendynme was third in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap last month, her only start since the Manhattan Beach.

Hollywood Story returns in Hawthorne

The bad luck that has dogged Hollywood Story through 2005 could end when she starts on her favorite track in Saturday's $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap.

The winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet in 2003 and the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap last December, Hollywood Story was a troubled third in the Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita in February, her only start this year.

Hollywood Story emerged from the race with a minor leg injury, a popped curb, which kept her from starting in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park last month.

Saturday, while the national focus is firmly on the Kentucky Derby, Hollywood Story can rebound in the Grade 3 Hawthorne.

Hollywood Story has never been worse than third in three starts at Hollywood Park. Aside from her Starlet and Bayakoa wins, she finished third in the Hollywood Oaks last June.

"She likes Hollywood," trainer John Shirreffs said. "This is her home turf."

Owned by George Krikorian, Hollywood Story has sometimes been ambitiously campaigned. Last fall, she was sent to Texas for the Breeders' Cup Distaff and finished a troubled 10th in what was her first start in nearly four months. She rebounded to win the Bayakoa.

In the Santa Maria, Hollywood Story was the 3-1 favorite in a field of eight. Making her customary move from off the pace, she was fifth turning for home, but encountered trouble twice and finished two lengths behind Miss Loren.

"I think she was unlucky not to win the Santa Maria," Shirreffs said.

The leg injury was not serious, but did cause concern, Shirreffs said.

"You just want for the inflammation to go down," he said. "It's more of an irritation than anything else, but it's an irritation on the ligament so you have to be careful."

Other candidates include Fencelineneighbor, House of Fortune, Muir Beach, and Ramatuelle. The Hawthorne is one of two graded stakes for females this weekend.

Sunday's top race is the $100,000 Senorita Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over a mile on turf. The race is a prep to the $750,000 American Oaks on July 3.

Thatswhatimean, who won the China Doll Stakes at Santa Anita, is among the probable entrants.