05/12/2004 11:00PM

Ticker Tape aims toward Oaks


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Ticker Tape has become a favorite at trainer Jim Cassidy's stable since her arrival from England last fall, and not just because of her consecutive stakes wins at Santa Anita this year.

"She's been different than some of the others," Cassidy said. "I'm more or less a caretaker. Some of the others I had to train. With her, I'm just trying not to get in the way."

will attempt to win her third straight stakes in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Senorita Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over a mile on turf at Hollywood Park. If she succeeds, Cassidy and the filly's owners, Jim Ford, Daron Pearson, and Jack Sweesy, are hoping to gain an invitation to the Grade 1, $750,000 American Oaks on July 3.

Since Ticker Tape was imported, she has shown remarkable consistency. After runner-up finishes in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes here in November and the Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita in December, Ticker Tape won the China Doll and the Providencia at Santa Anita over a mile on turf.

"You don't get many like this," Cassidy said.

In the Providencia Stakes, Ticker Tape rallied from seventh in a field of 12, took the lead under Kent Desormeaux in early stretch, and pulled clear to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Desormeaux is riding Imperialism in Saturday's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico; Corey Nakatani will ride Ticker Tape in the Senorita.

"I think there will be a little more speed," Cassidy said. "We might need to be a little closer."

Amorama and Winendyneme, who were second and third in the Providencia, are among Ticker Tape's seven opponents in the Senorita. Trainer Bobby Frankel has two entrants - Miss Vegas, a three-time stakes winner in Italy, and Taygete, who won an allowance race here on April 23.

Miss Vegas, who is making her U.S. debut and first start since November, has not raced beyond six furlongs.

The pace could come from Freakin Streakin, who won a maiden race and an allowance race on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita earlier this year.

Cassidy is gambling that Ticker Tape can win on Saturday, which would allow him to train her up to the American Oaks and bypass the Honeymoon Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on turf on June 5.

"It would have been smarter to wait for the Honeymoon," he said. "I expect to skip the Honeymoon and go to the Oaks. I think the key, like so many Europeans, is to let them to relax so they can do what you want to do."