12/07/2006 12:00AM

Somethinaboutlaura's presence carries weight


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was taken aback when weight assignments for Saturday's $100,000 California Distaff Turf Handicap were assigned.

Somethinaboutlaura was assigned 128 pounds, a huge impost in racing today, but Hollendorfer nonetheless plans to run his star in the one-mile turf race for California-bred fillies and mares. Seven entered the race, with Eclipse Winner coupled in the wagering with Somethinaboutlaura.

"Maybe we got a couple runners because she was carrying 128," Bay Meadows racing secretary Tom Doutrich said.

"When I enter a race, I plan to run," Hollendorfer said. "You're always concerned about weight, but you don't hear complaints from me or see campaigning about weights like you do in Southern California.

"Maybe my decision will change depending on rain," he added. "I don't want to run on a soft turf course or a very muddy track." Wet weather is forecast for the area.

Somethinaboutlaura is coming back three weeks after a four-length victory carrying 124 pounds in the Autumn Leaves Handicap, at 2-5, for her third straight stakes victory.

Her ultimate goal is the Sunshine Millions in seven weeks, but she is nominated to the Grade 2 Dahlia at Hollywood Park on Dec. 18 because Hollendorfer wants her to have one more race.

"The theory of weight is to get all the runners to finish together," Hollendorfer said. "But when do you see that happen?"

Much like point spreads in football and basketball, the assigning of weight also makes races more attractive to bettors.

No one, including Hollendorfer, is surprised that Somethinaboutlaura picked up weight off her Autumn Leaves win. But he was very surprised to get 128.

"They never weighted Lost in the Fog above 125 here, even though he was going to the Breeders' Cup," Hollendorfer said. "People tell me that Forego and John Henry used to carry that weight, but she's no Forego or John Henry."

In a different era, Forego carried 130 pounds or more 24 times, 129 five times, and 128 once. John Henry carried 130 three times, 129 twice, and 128 three times. He never carried more than 127 the last two years of his career.

Hollendorfer is concerned about the implications if Somethinaboutlaura wins.

"What's next?" he asked.

Somethinaboutlaura spots Bai and Bai, her main rival, 10 pounds. The largest difference is 16 pounds with Proudest Moment, who got in at 112 and will likely try to set the pace after running all year in sprints.