09/15/2004 11:00PM

Tchula Miss a bounce candidate


MIAMI - Tchula Miss has won three stakes in her 19-race career, including the Golden Or Stakes just three weeks ago. She regressed when she returned on only three weeks' rest following each of her first two stakes wins. The question remains whether she will follow that same pattern when she starts among the favorites in Saturday's $75,000 U Can Do It Handicap at Calder.

Tchula Miss won the Goldarama Stakes by four lengths while earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 94 during the spring of 2003, but came back three weeks later to finish a tiring third in the Cool Air Stakes on turf. She returned later that summer to win the Vivace Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths, posting a Beyer Figure of 89, but bounced badly three weeks later, finishing sixth as the 3-5 favorite under optional claiming and allowance conditions.

Tchula Miss started just once in 11 months following that dismal performance. She finished a tiring fourth in a much-needed outing when she was sent seven furlongs by trainer Steve Dwoskin in the Little Sister Stakes on Aug. 9, before outfinishing Sea Span by a neck to win the Golden Or.

Sea Span will again be among the opposition in the 6 1/2-furlong U Can Do It and is the horse to beat if Tchula Miss holds true to form and bounces even slightly off her last start.

Sea Span is in arguably the best form of her career. A 5-year-old mare, Sea Span lost her best chance when away slowly in both the Vague Memory and Barbs Dancer stakes earlier this meet, but came back to run down the speedy Beautiful Honor to capture the Unique Type Stakes on Aug. 13 before her near miss in the Golden Or.

Petrina Above is the third member of the U Can Do It field to have won an overnight stakes here this summer, when she was an easy wire-to-wire winner of the Barbs Dancer on July 13. Unfortunately, her form has tailed off since that victory. The 9-year-old will enter the U Can Do It off one of the worst performances in her 52-race career, a badly beaten ninth-place finish in the Golden Or.

Sniffles could prove a spoiler turning back in distance off a series of longer races, including a recent third-place effort behind Adobe Gold, the leader of the local 3-year-old filly division, going 1 1/16 miles in the Ms Medallion Stakes.