04/23/2008 12:00AM

Suit Yourself set to start new season


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Bad luck and an injury kept Suit Yourself from becoming a stakes winner last year at 2.

Suit Yourself's 3-year-old season begins in Friday's $75,000 Harry Henson Stakes at Hollywood Park, a race that trainer Mike Puype hopes will give him some indication of the colt's status.

"He's a better horse than his form indicates," Puype said. "We'll have to see where he lands on his feet."

The Henson Stakes is run over six furlongs on turf for 3-year-olds, and is the eighth race on a nine-race program that begins at 7:05 p.m.

Suit Yourself will start from the rail in the Henson, which has drawn a field of nine. Owned by his breeders, Brad and Judy Carmel, Suit Yourself will be making his fifth start and first start on turf. After beating statebred maidens in his second start last May, he finished a troubled sixth in the Graduation Stakes at Del Mar in July and third in the Cavonnier Stakes at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting in October.

By Tribal Rule, Suit Yourself emerged from the Cavonnier with a slight injury.

"He got sore in a back ankle," Puype said. "He wasn't gone a super long time."

Puype considered starting Suit Yourself in the $70,000 Barretts Stakes over seven furlongs against older horses on Sunday, but has opted for Friday's race to keep his colt in his age group.

"The California-bred race is coming up pretty tough," Puype said. "It's 3-year-olds and up. I can stay with 3-year-olds and see whether he likes the turf."

The Henson features one stakes winner - Nevada Worrier, the winner of the Cavonnier Stakes last October. Trained by Jerry Wallace, Nevada Worrier was fourth in the Grade 3 Baldwin Stakes for 3-year-old turf sprinters at Santa Anita on March 2. Sky Cape, the runner-up in that race, is entered in the Henson, which will be the 12th start of his career.

The field includes one promising import in Mr Keppel, who won three consecutive races in England last summer. Now trained by John Sadler for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, Mr Keppel was seventh of 23 in the $450,000 Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy Stakes last October in his final start in England.