10/25/2006 11:00PM

Somethinaboutlaura takes on an upstart

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ARCADIA, Calif. – Saturday’s $150,000 California Cup Matron at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting appears to be a match race between the established Somethinaboutlaura and the improving Getback Time.

Both fillies race on or near the lead. Somethinaboutlaura has used that style to great effect this season, winning 3 of 9 starts and $295,405.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Somethinaboutlaura has won three stakes this year – the Foster City Handicap at Bay Meadows in February, the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood Park in July, and the Pacific Heights Stakes at Golden Gate Fields in September.

Getback Time, a 3-year-old who was claimed for $40,000 in April, has not been worse than second in five starts since she was acquired by a partnership and trainer Rafael Becerra. The span includes runner-up finishes in the Fleet Treat Stakes and Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar.

But Getback Time faces the toughest test of her career in the Matron Stakes, which is run at 1 1/16 miles. Even if she can be rated near the lead, Getback Time may be at a slight disadvantage, since she has made only one start around two turns, a second in the Torrey Pines Stakes at a mile on Sept. 1.

Getback Time was scratched from the restricted Swingtime Stakes on turf on Oct. 4 after Becerra deemed the race too difficult. The first two finishers – Beautyandthebeast and Berbatim – are expected to start in Sunday’s Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap.

“I decided to wait and work for this race,” Becerra said.

With Somethinaboutlaura as a favorite, winning the Matron will not be easy for Getback Time.

Somethinaboutlaura, fourth in this race last year, has won over 1 1/16 miles, in the Palo Alto Handicap on turf at Bay Meadows in September 2005. She was third in the Grade 2 Milady Breeders’ Cup Handicap over 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park in June, leading to deep stretch before finishing three-quarters of a length behind Proposed.

A winner of 8 of 17 starts in her career, Somethinaboutlaura came from just off the pace to win the A Gleam Handicap over seven furlongs at Hollywood Park in July.

“As far as training goes, she’s been training very well,” Hollendorfer said of Somethinaboutlaura, the 120-pound highweight.

The Matron has drawn a field of seven. Of the other five entrants, Hey Hey Renee and Mimi Guarneri are the only 2006 stakes winners.

Hey Hey Renee won three stakes at Assiniboia Downs in Canada in the spring and summer. She is making her first start in California and joined trainer David Hofmans’s stable earlier this month.

Mimi Guarneri has not been worse than second in three starts. Trained by Don Warren, she led throughout to win the CTBA Marian Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Fairplex Park on Sept. 18. The win was the first of her career and her second start of 2006.