06/05/2001 11:00PM

Too tempting for Miss Grimsby to pass


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - John Dolan disagrees with the contention that Miss Grimsby prefers one turn. Though she has not attempted a two-turn race in more than a year, and has not won a route in nearly two years, Miss Grimsby enters Friday's $75,000 Convenience Stakes at Hollywood Park as a legitimate contender. Dolan is confident she can stay 1 1/16 miles.

"I think that's probably her best distance, stretching out," Dolan said. "But she's always been so fragile I could never get her going good enough."

Miss Grimsby is one of eight fillies and mares in the Convenience, for nonwinners-of-three-other-than. It's an allowance race that will look awfully good on a r?sum?. Although Dolan said Miss Grimsby was only "50-50" to actually start, the opportunity is almost too good to pass.

"I'm not going to run just to run, I'd love to get her a stakes win," Dolan said. "But I want to make sure I don't blow Del Mar with her because she loves Del Mar. But she's like a lot of Saint Ballados, they seem to be a little fragile."

It shows in Miss Grimsby's past performances. At age 5, she has raced only nine times. She has won three, earned $127,278 and enters the Convenience following a runner-up finish in a six-furlong stakes race at Bay Meadows. Corey Nakatani will ride Miss Grimsby, whom Dolan said "can handle a mile, a mile and a sixteenth when everything's going good."

The Convenience drew a modest allowance-caliber field, including three contenders coming out of the same race. Setareh won a two-other-than on May 24, while Deviletta set the slow pace and held second. Fifth-place finisher Mind For Gold, however, is one who might be followed.

In the race won by Setareh, Mind for Gold broke from post 6 and was caught four wide from start to finish. Trained by solid-percentage trainer Pete Eurton, Mind for Gold got no help at the Convenience draw. She must break from post 9, and somehow drop over before losing ground into the first turn.

Though Mind for Gold could get caught wide again, there has been little statistical bias this meet regarding post position in 1 1/16-mile races. Posts 1-4 have combined to average 13 percent winners; posts 5-11 are averaging 14 percent winners.

The Convenience goes as the sixth. The seventh is a first-condition turf allowance for 3-year-old fillies. The race attracted promising Live Your Dreams and Reine De Romance.