10/12/2005 12:00AM

Tempting Date to try hillside


ARCADIA, Calif. - Bound for a stakes next month, Tempting Date will try the hillside turf course at Santa Anita for the first time on Friday in a $42,000 allowance race for fillies and mares.

If she runs well, trainer Jeff Mullins and owners Adam and Paul Lewis are hoping to start Tempting Date in the $150,000 California Cup Distaff for statebreds over the same about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course on Nov. 6.

"We thought we'd try it and see how she does," Mullins said.

, 3, has won 2 of 3 starts in her career. She won a maiden race at Del Mar on Aug. 11 when she was trained by Donald Warren. Following that race, she was acquired privately by the Lewises and sent to Mullins.

For the current team, Tempting Date returned to win a five-furlong allowance race on turf for statebreds at Del Mar on Sept. 7 and finish a game second in a six-furlong allowance race against open company over this track on Sept. 29. In the most recent race, she was sent off as the 7-5 favorite and was beaten two lengths by Victory Spy.

"She kind of acted like she needed that last race," Mullins said.

With the experience of a turf win and her ability to stalk the pace, Tempting Date should be well suited to a sprint down the hill.

"We would like to run her long, but she's sprinting so good," Mullins said. "She's a good filly."

In Friday's seventh race, Tempting Date has eight opponents, none of whom has won on the hillside course. Strut Your Stuff was second in two hillside sprints last spring. She is trained by Warren for Bud and Judy Johnston, the breeders and owners of Tempting Date when she made her first start.

was second in her most recent start, a sprint on Hollywood Park's main track May 18. She has been in the first three in her last eight starts.

Salsa Brava and Spirit of Nature are capable of winning.

placed in two group sprint stakes in England in 2004 but was winless in two starts over a mile on turf at Del Mar.

has run well on this course. Trained by John Shirreffs, she is making her first start since finishing sixth in a sprint race on dirt at Del Mar in July. In 2004, she was third in an allowance race on the hillside course.