01/25/2007 1:00AM

Take D' Tour seems too perky to bounce


ARCADIA, Calif. - If a career-best performance last month by Take D' Tour is a prelude to the dreaded bounce, then someone forgot to tell the 6-year-old mare.

Take D' Tour will be favored Saturday in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff at Santa Anita, and her behavior early this week in California suggests she will deliver an effort similar to her last start - a 14-length Calder blowout that earned a sky-high 110 Beyer Speed Figure.

"Hopefully if she does bounce it won't be enough to get her beat," trainer David Fawkes said Thursday morning at Santa Anita.

If her feel-good antics are an indication, Take D' Tour, a Florida-bred Grade 1 winner, might not bounce at all. Inside her stall, she pranced on her hind legs, pawing at the overhead light bulb.

"That's one of her favorite things - breaking light bulbs," Fawkes said. "She did the same thing the first day she was at Belmont."

It's a good sign. Take D' Tour won successive graded stakes last spring at Belmont. She tailed off later in the season, but returned to form in winter and is the horse to beat in the 1 1/16-mile Distaff, race 3 at Santa Anita.

Twelve will start in the Distaff, and main challenges to the favorite include California-bred Somethin-aboutlaura, deep-closing East Coast shipper Friel's for Real, and Kentucky shipper Joint Effort. They are running for second if Take D' Tour reproduces her most recent effort for owner-breeders Alice and Paul Muller.

"She's gotten so much more versatile," Fawkes said. "She'll let you rate her a little bit, which she wouldn't do before. [Eibar] Coa and her have been a nice combination."

Take D' Tour has won 9 of 21, and should get a pressing trip behind sprinters Getback Time and Bit of Folly.

Take D' Tour was considered for the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic against males, but "that race was significantly tougher," Fawkes said, adding, "I think she'll like this track a lot."

Joint Effort could have entered the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Gulfstream, but trainer Dale Romans said "three-quarters might be too short, so we decided to bring her out here for the bigger pot."

Joint Effort finished second in a slow-paced route last time. Her challenge is to reproduce the effort chasing faster fractions.

Somethinaboutlaura has won 10 of 20 and will get a pressing trip just off the pace. Friel's for Real is a 13-for-32 pro who will rally from far back. Also in the field are Dancing General, Purrfectly Fitting, Saffronista, No Sleep, Preciousness, and Beneficial Bartok.