11/09/2007 12:00AM

Spring Awakening needs patient trip

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - Unless she is an overrated flash in the pan, the 2-year-old filly Spring Awakening should win the $100,000 Moccasin Stakes on Sunday at Hollywood Park.

If she loses, it will not be the first time Spring Awakening has fallen short of expectations.

"We were a little disappointed after her last race," trainer Mike Mitchell admitted.

Imagine how bettors felt. Spring Awakening was hammered to odds-on in the six-furlong Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita, wilted at the eighth pole, and finished a weary third.

Mitchell blames strategy. After rallying from behind in her first three races, including a dazzling maiden win and runner-up finish as the Del Mar Debutante favorite, Spring Awakening found herself pressing the pace in the Anoakia - to Mitchell's chagrin.

"Her best races are when she lays off" the pace, Mitchell said. "You really don't have to take her back, you just don't have to send her. I think Joe [Talamo] just misread it."

Spring Awakening has a new rider for the Moccasin, and Garrett Gomez will allow her to relax early. If the tactics succeed and she reproduces the finish that led to her romping maiden win at Del Mar, Spring Awakening can outrun her six Moccasin rivals.

"If she is ridden the right way, seven-eighths is a perfect distance for her," Mitchell said.

The Moccasin historically is won with a Beyer Speed Figure in the upper-80s. Based on figures, only three fillies are fast enough - Spring Awakening, who earned an 85 three back; Golden Doc A, whose Anoakia upset earned an 85; and Time Reveals All, whose sharp last-start maiden win earned an 83.

The figures only count for so much however, and bettors who appreciate raw speed will like former Mitchell-trainee Sindy Jacobsen. She set the fastest fractions of any 6 1/2-furlong race during the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita when she wired maiden-40 starter allowance fillies after the first quarter in 21.33 seconds and half-mile in 43.83.

Sindy Jacobsen earned a 78 Beyer, was sold privately afterward, and transferred from Mitchell to John Sadler. Tyler Baze, whose aggressive style contributed to his Oak Tree riding title, will put Sindy Jacobsen on the lead in the Moccasin.

Landaluce winner The Golden Noodle drops and shortens up from the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes, a route that already has produced three next-start winners. Strike Out beat soft maidens in her Keeneland debut.