10/08/2005 12:00AM

Surf Cat faces pair of Jackpot winners


ARCADIA, Calif. - Surf Cat, the winner of the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park in July, will be a strong favorite in a $54,000 optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles on Monday that features two winners of the Delta Jackpot Stakes.

The field of five includes Outta Here, who won the Delta Jackpot in 2002 and Texcess, who won the race when it was worth $1 million last December.

Surf Cat, trained by Bruce Headley, is making his first start since finishing a disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 21, his debut against older horses. In that race, Surf Cat was with the pace to the final turn, but faded to finish 6 1/4 lengths behind Borrego.

During the summer, Surf Cat won the Swaps Stakes by five lengths and finished second by a neck to Indian Ocean in the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap.

Texcess will be making his first start since finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park in May. Trained by Paul Aguirre, Texcess is winless in five starts since the Delta Jackpot. A California-bred 3-year-old gelding, Texcess was scratched from the Pomona Derby at Fairplex Park on Sept. 24 in favor of this spot.

A win on Monday could lead to a start in the $250,000 California Cup Classic on Nov. 6.

Outta Here, trained by Bill Currin, has one victory in six starts this year, an optional claimer over 1 1/8 miles here in January.

Super Frolic preps for BC Classic

Super Frolic, the winner of the Hawthorne Gold Cup on Sept. 24, worked a half-mile in 48.80 seconds on Saturday, preparing for a start in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.

Trainer Vladimir Cerin is taking a realistic approach to Super Frolic's status in the BC Classic.

"He needs to improve a little bit," Cerin said. "There are three American-based horses on top of their games - Borrego, Rock Hard Ten, and Saint Liam, in alphabetical order. I don't disrespect anyone.

"I think we have a 50 percent chance of running fourth or better, which is enough to pay for the trip. If he improves, that's not out of the question."

Owned by Millennium Farms, Super Frolic has won 11 of 31 starts and $848,854. He was acquired privately in late summer, and finished fifth in the Pacific Classic, his first start for his current connections.

Dream's runs down stablemate

Dream's won her first stakes in the United States and stretched her winning streak to five in Friday's restricted $74,040 Swingtime Stakes.

To win the one-mile turf race, she had to catch stablemate House of Fortune, whose saddle slipped forward during the running. Ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, House of Fortune led by as many as 10 lengths on the backstretch. House of Fortune led by five lengths with an eighth of a mile to go, but could not hold off Dream's, who won by three-quarters of a length in 1:34.62 under Alex Solis. Cotopaxi finished third in the field of eight fillies and mares.

Dream's won two minor stakes in Chile last year, including her final start in that country last November. Owned by Tom Lenner and trained by Ron McAnally, Dream's has won four consecutive starts in this country

The slipped saddle was frustrating for McAnally, who personally put the saddle on.

"I cinched it knowing she would be on the lead," McAnally said.

House of Fortune is winless in seven starts this year, but the Swingtime Stakes was one of her better performances.

Heavenly Ranson connects at 50-1

Friday's program was dominated by longshots, and none was bigger than Heavenly Ransom, who paid $102.40 winning a maiden race over a mile on turf in the third race.

The filly made her debut on Friday, having been purchased for $22,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Trainer Ray Bell bought her because she was a half-sister to the Capitano, a promising horse that he once trained as a 2-year-old.

"I thought at least she would make a good investment," Bell said.

The purchase price was relatively inexpensive because Heavenly Ransom had a knee problem that scared away many potential buyers.

A veterinarian examined Heavenly Ransom for Bell and said the knee could improve with time.

"The outside part of the knee had grown quicker than the inside," Bell recalled.

After surgery that required the insertion of screws, Bell said the knee improved. "We gave her plenty of time," he said.

Heavenly Ransom is owned by Vicken and Susie Meguerditchian.

Bell admitted, with a smile, that he did not bet.

* Willow O Wisp, the winner of the Del Mar Derby in his most recent start last month, worked six furlongs on turf in 1:15.40 under jockey Garrett Gomez on Saturday. Willow O Wisp will be favored to win this Saturday's $150,000 Oak Tree Derby.