09/13/2004 11:00PM

Start key for speedy High Zone from post 1


POMONA, Calif. - Three starts into her career, High Zone's record is perfect - she has broken dead last every time. Not that trainer Brian Koriner is complaining. "That's just her, she's broken slow every trip," he said. "I think she'll break slow again."

Thursday at Fairplex Park, High Zone makes her Southern California stakes debut in the $60,000 Bustles and Bows for 2-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs, facing five rivals who are better than those she met recently in northern California. The handicapping dilemma is clear - determining High Zone's chances of overcoming habitual tardiness against tougher company, in a two-turn sprint on the five-eighth-mile Fairplex track.

"I don't know what's going to happen going two turns, but she's been pretty impressive - she just has super speed," Koriner said. "Sometimes six and a half [furlongs] on the bullring is more like five and a half or six furlongs [on a mile track]."

High Zone will be ridden by Luis Jauregui from post 1.

Doug O'Neill trains class-droppers Timeintown and Kash Klip. Timeintown, the likely favorite, chased the pace and weakened to sixth in the Grade 3 Sorrento last out at Del Mar. One start back, she scored a front-running win in a $47,000 stakes at Pleasanton.

Kash Klip ran 10th in the Grade 3 Landaluce July 5 at Hollywood Park last out. She will be ridden by Omar Figueroa, who won three stakes the first four days of the Los Angeles County Fair, and teamed with O'Neill Monday for a $22.60 upset with Lava Man in the Derby Trial.

Seeking the Heat won her debut in an $80,000 maiden claiming race two weeks ago at Del Mar for trainer Bob Baffert, and will be ridden again by Martin Pedroza. The two outsiders are apparently overmatched - Weybridge and slow-working first-time starter Crow Autumn.

If High Zone does not surrender her advantage at the break, she can win the Bustles and Bows. It would mean a lot to Koriner and his clients, who spent approximately $800,000 this year on 2-year-olds, including highly regarded Crowning Camelia, who finished fourth in her Sept. 5 debut at Del Mar. Koriner co-owns both fillies.

"It's nice to have your name on [a good one]," Koriner said. "Usually when you put your name on one, it turns out to be worth 10 cents."