06/10/2004 12:00AM

Top fillies out to restore reps


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The absence of a California-based filly in the first four positions in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on April 30 left West Coast horsemen confused.

Cal-based A.P. Adventure, Class Above, Hollywood Story, House of Fortune, and Silent Sighs had the credentials to win the Kentucky Oaks, but they all failed. Many owners and trainers felt the muddy track that day affected performances.

"It was a big disadvantage," said John Shirreffs, who trains Hollywood Story.

Saturday, three of those fillies - Class Above, Hollywood Story and House of Fortune - return in the $175,000 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks at Hollywood Park, hoping the Grade 2 race over 1 1/16 miles can restore tarnished reputations.

The Oaks drew six entrants. Elusive Diva and M.A. Fox, the first two finishers in the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes over seven furlongs on May 2, also will start, as will Boasting. M.A. Fox is winless in three starts. Boasting is making her stakes debut and first start on dirt.

is likely to be favored. Trained by Ron McAnally, House of Fortune won the California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields and the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park before finishing eighth in the Kentucky Oaks. She was as close as third turning for home before fading to finish 11 1/2 lengths behind the winner, Ashado.

"Most of the California horses didn't run their races," McAnally said. "She showed a little move like she would do something, but I guess she couldn't handle the mud."

House of Fortune is making her second start at Hollywood Park. Last December, she was a well-beaten third behind Hollywood Story in the Hollywood Starlet. He said that a touch of trouble House of Fortune encountered in early stretch of the Hollywood Starlet may have contributed to the loss.

McAnally initially felt House of Fortune was unsuited to the Hollywood Park main track, but has been impressed with her recent training.

"The way she's been training, she's ready," he said.

House of Fortune has shown speed, but Elusive Diva is likely to lead. She won her first stakes in the Railbird after finishing fourth behind House of Fortune in the Fantasy Stakes on April 9.

"Earlier in the year, she wasn't as experienced," said Mark Glatt, who trains . "With the addition of blinkers and more experience, I think we have her in real good shape. This will be her test if she can compete at that level at 1 1/16 miles."

Class Above and Hollywood Story are looking for their first graded stakes win of the year.

won the Bourbonette Stakes at Turfway Park in March before finishing last of 11 in the Kentucky Oaks after a poor start.

Hollywood Story is winless in three starts in Grade 1 stakes since the Starlet, a span that includes a second in the Las Virgenes Stakes, a fourth in the Santa Anita Oaks, and a fifth in the Kentucky Oaks.

"I think she's moved forward from the Kentucky Oaks to the Hollywood Oaks very well," Shirreffs said.