12/31/2005 1:00AM

Stratham definite on turf, maybe for dirt


ARCADIA, Calif. - Since arriving in this country in late summer, Stratham has won his only start, in the Pinjara Stakes in October, and has been sidelined since because of a lack of turf opportunities.

On Monday, owner Jerry Jamgotchian and trainer Tim Yakteen are hoping that Stratham can run on turf in the $75,000 Hill Rise Stakes at Santa Anita, but wet weather could force the race to be moved the main track.

If that occurs, Yakteen said, a decision will be made on race day whether Stratham runs on dirt or waits for another race.

"I'd have to consider it," he said of a main-track start. "It's not a matter of running on the dirt. It's a matter of what kind of surface we would be running on."

Yakteen said he would not be inclined to run Stratham on a sealed track, which can be firmer than a typical dirt track.

Stratham has already missed one turf goal - the Generous Stakes in late November, which was not run because Hollywood Park canceled turf racing at the fall meeting. As a result, Stratham was kept on the sidelines.

"It seems like the time has done him well," Yakteen said.

The Hill Rise has drawn nine 3-year-olds.

To Sender, a European import trained by Bobby Frankel, will be well backed. To Sender started twice in England last year. He won a maiden race in May but finished 12th of 14 as the 5-2 favorite in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting in York, England, in June.

Meanwhile, the surface of the race may not be an issue for Class of Fifty. Trained by Bob Hess Jr., Class of Fifty finished second in the Pinjara and returned to finish fourth in an optional claimer on the main track at Golden Gate Fields on Nov. 27.

Also in the Hill Rise is one transcontinental shipper, Rock Lobster, who is trained in Maryland by Michael Dickinson. Rock Lobster has made three starts, all on turf, including a fourth-place finish in the Laurel Futurity on Nov. 19.

Ticker Tape starts anew

In 2004, Ticker Tape won two Grade 1 races, half of her 10 starts, and more than $1.1 million. In 2005, she was winless in seven starts and earned $78,780.

Ticker Tape could start her 5-year-old campaign in 2006 on a bright note with a win in Sunday's $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap for fillies and mares over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Trainer Jim Cassidy is hoping that Ticker Tape will return to her 2004 form.

"Is she back to that form, or are the horses tougher?" Cassidy said. "She hasn't been in any easy spots."

In 2005, Ticker Tape started in seven stakes. She finished third in the My Charmer Handicap at Calder on Dec. 3, a race that Cassidy chose for her after Hollywood Park canceled the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes in late November. In the My Charmer, Ticker Tape rallied from eighth to lose by a length.

"She ran great. She was just back too far," Cassidy said. "She got a winning call, but she hung late."

In the San Gorgonio, Ticker Tape is in a field that includes Bond Deal, Dream's, and Flip Flop. Others in the race are Barancella, who has placed in three major stakes on this continent; Royal Copenhagen, the winner of the Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington Park in September; and the multiple stakes winner Star Parade.

Poor timing for Resplendency

Resplendency, the winner of the 2004 Monrovia Handicap, was scratched from Saturday's $100,000 Monrovia Handicap by trainer Bob Baffert after there was no rain by early morning on race day.

Baffert was hoping the Monrovia would be switched from turf to dirt because of rain.

The rain began to fall by late morning after Baffert had worked Resplendency a half-mile in 46 seconds, the fastest of 36 works at the distance. At 11:32 a.m., the Monrovia was taken off the turf.

Resplendency will start in Thursday's $75,000 Kalookan Queen Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track, Baffert said. The Kalookan Queen is a prep for the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap over seven furlongs on Jan. 29.