07/11/2001 11:00PM

Speed is her specialty


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - There is no suspense regarding Fair Apache's tactics from the rail in Saturday's $70,000 Valkyr Handicap at Hollywood Park.

"She runs as hard as she can as far as she can," said trainer Christopher Paasch. "When the gates open, it's giddyup."

Run over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, the Valkyr, restricted to California-bred fillies and mares, could set up ideally for Fair Apache, who is owned by Rod and Lorraine Rodriguez.

In her last start, Fair Apache was third in the Great Lady M. Handicap on June 10, leading to the eighth pole before fading to finish behind Connate and Dusty Heather. Connate is not eligible for the Valkyr - she was bred in New Zealand - and Dusty Heather is a leading contender in the Valkyr.

"I think what cost her last time was her and Separata setting that fast pace," Paasch said.

Fair Apache is not likely to have the same pace pressure in the Valkyr, although Global, the winner of two races in May, might race close to her.

If Fair Apache runs well in the Valkyr, the third race on Saturday's nine-race program, Paasch said he might send her in a stakes out of town.

"I think she needs to earn it," Paasch said. "She seems to be improving with every race. She took a little more time learning."

Finally, a work for Tiznow

Tiznow, the 2000 Horse of the Year, was scheduled to have his first workout in nearly three months on Friday at Santa Anita following a series of successful gallops in recent days, trainer Jay Robbins said. Robbins said Tiznow will breeze three furlongs.

Unraced since winning the Santa Anita Handicap in early March, Tiznow's career has been under a cloud since late April due to back problems.

"He's going quite good right now," Robbins said. "We X-rayed his left hind leg on Tuesday to make sure he's all right and everything came back fine, negative.

"I'm feeling pretty confident. I think the three-eighths breeze will tell us more."

On July 6, jockey Chris McCarron galloped Tiznow but reported to Robbins that he was unhappy with the way the 4-year-old was traveling, particularly while jogging. But over the weekend, Robbins said that the 4-year-old Tiznow looked better.

"In the last three days he looks like he did six months ago," Robbins said. "You can't palpate any muscle soreness."

Robbins said his stable will leave Sunday for Del Mar and that he wanted to work Tiznow at Santa Anita before shipping.

With his work Friday, Tiznow could start at Del Mar if he has no further setbacks. Robbins said last week that he did not think it would take many workouts for Tiznow to be ready. While Tiznow is highly unlikely to make the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 19, he could run in the $250,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap over a mile on Sept. 2.

Expected Program sidelined

Expected Program, the winner of two stakes for 2-year-olds at the Hollywood Park meeting, will miss Sunday's $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship because of a foot problem, trainer Jim Chapman said.

Expected Program was expected to be favored in the Grade 3 Juvenile, run over six furlongs. Chapman made the decision to pass the Juvenile after consulting with farrier Wes Champagne.

"He had some heat in his foot that turned into an abscess that turned into a quarter crack," Chapman said, describing the injury to Expected Program's right front foot. "Wes said he could patch it, but we didn't want to give him a chance to get beat."

Chapman said Expected Program has already been sent to Del Mar, where Champagne will attend to the foot on Monday.

The absence of Expected Program makes the Hollywood Juvenile Championship a wide-open race. Recent maiden winners Tim's Talent and Came Home are expected to start, along with Tracemark, who was second behind Expected Program in the Haggin Stakes on June 17. Sleeping Weapon, trained by Eoin Harty for Godolphin Racing, will miss the race because of a fever.

Came Home worked three furlongs in 34.20 seconds under Chris McCarron at Hollywood Park on Thursday, the fastest of eight recorded works at the distance.

The Juvenile Championship is one of three stakes on Sunday, along with the $500,000 Swaps Stakes for 3-year-olds and the $200,000 Sunset Handicap on turf.

Congaree, the Wood Memorial winner, who was third in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, will be heavily favored in the Swaps.

Hirsch next for Gourmet Girl

Gourmet Girl, the winner of the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap on June 30, will make her next start in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 5, trainer Pico Perdomo said.

Owned by Gary Tanaka of London, Gourmet Girl has won two major stakes for older fillies and mares on dirt this year - the Vanity and the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park in April.

"She's maturing now and getting better," Perdomo said. "Maybe it's the way we're taking care of her. It's paying off."

Tanaka and Perdomo had considered racing her in the $600,000 Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park on July 22. Perdomo said shipping from California to Delaware was too complicated, with stops in Dayton, Ohio, and in Baltimore, followed by a van ride.

Following the Hirsch, Perdomo said, Gourmet Girl will be pointed for the Ruffian Handicap at Belmont on Sept. 15 and then to the Breeders' Cup Distaff.