01/17/2004 12:00AM

A third good Hollendorfer filly


ALBANY, Calif. - Heavenly Humor showed the depth of leading trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's 3-year-old filly band as she scored a five-length victory over Smoke Break in the $60,000 Miss California Stakes on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

Heavenly Humor broke well and got over quickly to save ground behind a brisk early pace. She appeared to be in tight nearing the quarter pole but took advantage of an opening entering the stretch to split Smoke Break and pacesetting Little Foxy Baby. She then pulled away down the stretch.

"It opened up or it wouldn't have been a perfect trip," Hollendorfer said.

Heavenly Humor ($4.20) lost to stakes-winning stablemate Wildwood Flower in her debut. She beat another stablemate, Bending Strings, who will run in Monday's Grade 2 Santa Ynez at Santa Anita, in her second start on Oct. 26. She was twice scratched because of a temperature and high blood count after that race but had four works for Saturday's race after being on the sidelines for a month.

"I didn't know if I had her that ready," Hollendorfer said after Heavenly Humor covered six furlongs in 1:09.92. "Her works aren't that fast, but the track's been off and she's not that fast a worker anyway."

Hollendorfer said he thinks Bending Strings is his top filly but is impressed with Heavenly Humor, who handed Bending Strings her only career loss. He said he would try to keep the three fillies separated in upcoming races.