02/23/2004 1:00AM

Top pair will pass if it's wet


ARCADIA, Calif. - Weather and track conditions will dictate whether Wednesday's seventh race at Santa Anita features Bull Market, a top 2-year-old of 2002, and Terrell, a promising sprinter.

, second in the Grade 2 Norfolk Stakes and fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in 2002, might make his first start in 16 months. Terrell, an exciting maiden winner over 6 1/2 furlongs last month, could be making his third start.

Run over 6 1/2 furlongs, the $49,000 allowance race is the top event on a program that features no turf races because of recent rain.

Bull Market races for Jim McIngvale and is trained by Bob Baffert. Darley Stable owns Terrell, who is trained by Eoin Harty, Baffert's former assistant. Both trainers said they would pass the race if the main track is wet-fast because of rain.

Bull Market was entered for Wednesday's race "at the last minute," according to Baffert. Bull Market was one of Baffert's top 2-year-olds of 2002, but an injury has limited him to only four career starts. He was sixth in the 2002 Del Mar Futurity.

"I'm trying to get a start into him," Baffert said. "He's been working well, but he probably needs a race. Track condition has a lot to do with it. I want to see how the track is doing."

Terrell was entered "no mud," Harty said. Following a second in his debut at Hollywood Park last June, Terrell did not start for eight months.

"It was a minor thing, but it took a while to get him back to where he was," Harty said.

, 4, made his comeback on Jan. 31, winning a maiden race by 1 1/2 lengths. "That was a huge race," Harty said.

Harty said he is taking a wait-and-see approach after watching weekend races. He said he is concerned the track will be too hard, citing as evidence a win by Unfurl the Flag, who tied a track record when he ran seven furlongs in 1:20.11 in an optional claimer on Saturday.

"I think he's a good colt and I won't risk him on a bad track," Harty said. "I certainly wouldn't have run on a track like they had Saturday."

Midafternoon is likely to set the pace. He won an optional claimer for California-breds at Hollywood Park in December and was second in an allowance race against open company at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 14.

Valley's Passion is a top candidate. He was a game second in an allowance race over seven furlongs on Jan. 30.